Long-range interactions, wobbles, and phase defects in chains of model cilia
Eukaryotic cilia and flagella are chemo-mechanical oscillators capable of generating long-range coordinated motions known as metachronal waves. Pair synchronization is a fundamental requirement for these collective dynamics, but it is generally not sufficient for collective phase-locking, chiefly due to the effect of long-range interactions. Here we explore experimentally and numerically a minimal model for a ciliated surface: hydrodynamically coupled oscillators rotating above a no-slip plane. Increasing their distance from the wall profoundly affects the global dynamics, due to variations in hydrodynamic interaction range. The array undergoes a transition from a traveling wave to either a steady chevron pattern or one punctuated by periodic phase defects. Within the transition between these regimes the system displays behavior reminiscent of chimera states.