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Optimal locomotion of microorganisms

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr C. P. Caulfield.

The cellular world includes a myriad of self-propelled microorganisms, including bacteria, spermatozoa, ciliates, and plankton. In this talk, we consider the hydrodynamics of low-Reynolds number swimming relevant to this world, and focus on deriving optimal modes of locomotion. Considering the various propulsion mechanisms observed in nature (flagella vs. cilia; prokaryotes vs. eukaryotes), we mathematically and computationally derive the cell kinematics achieving propulsion – or fluid transport – with minimal energetic cost, and compare our results with biological observations.

This talk is part of the Fluid Mechanics (DAMTP) series.

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