University of Cambridge > > BSS Formal Seminars > The strange world of low Reynolds numbers: Fluiddynamics at the micron scale

The strange world of low Reynolds numbers: Fluiddynamics at the micron scale

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  • UserProfessor Holger Stark
  • ClockWednesday 24 November 2010, 09:30-10:30
  • HousePoM Seminar Room.

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At the micron scale, inertia is completely negligible in an aqueous environment. This means that microorganisms swimming in water had to invent their own strategies to move forward.

I will explain these strategies at a few examples and demonstrate that the physics at low Reynolds number allows for interesting non-linear dynamics such as synchronization and Hopf bifurcation.

In particular, I will talk about a biomimetic flagellum or cilium. This is a long elastic filament that has been used to construct an artificial swimmer or to transport fluid. I will then demonstrate how an array of cilia synchronize into metachronal waves and finally introduce how we model bacterial locomotion. Bacteria move forward with the help of a rotating bundel of helical filaments. Modeling these filaments and their actuation by a rotary motor offers interesting new insights into the problem.

This talk is part of the BSS Formal Seminars series.

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