Effective temperature concept evaluated in an active colloid mixture.

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Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, ISSN: 1091-6490, Vol: 114, Issue: 29, Page: 7513-7518

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Han, Ming; Yan, Jing; Granick, Steve; Luijten, Erik
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences; NATL ACAD SCIENCES
Multidisciplinary; active matter; colloid; temperature; thermodynamics; nonequilibrium
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Thermal energy agitates all matter, and its competition with ordering tendencies is a fundamental organizing principle in the physical world; this observation suggests that an effective temperature might emerge when external energy input enhances agitation. However, despite the repeated proposal of this concept based on kinetics for various nonequilibrium systems, the value of an effective temperature as a thermodynamic control parameter has been unclear. Here, we introduce a two-component system of driven Janus colloids, such that collisions induced by external energy sources agitate the system, and we demonstrate quantitative agreement with hallmarks of statistical thermodynamics for binary phase behavior: the archetypal phase diagram with equilibrium critical exponents, Gaussian displacement distributions, and even capillarity. The significance is to demonstrate a class of dynamical conditions under which thermodynamic analysis extends quantitatively to systems that are decidedly nonequilibrium except that the effective temperature differs from the physical temperature.