Active viscoelasticity of odd materials

D. Banerjee, V. Vitelli, F. Jülicher, and P. Surówka


The mechanical response of active media ranging from biological gels to living tissues is governed by a subtle interplay between viscosity and elasticity. We generalize the canonical Kelvin-Voigt and Maxwell models to active viscoelastic media that break both parity and time-reversal symmetries. The resulting continuum theories exhibit viscous and elastic tensors that are both antisymmetric, or odd, under exchange of pairs of indices. We analyze how these parity violating viscoelastic coefficients determine the relaxation mechanisms and wave-propagation properties of odd materials.

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