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Friday, October 29, 2004
Physics Building, Room 204
Note special time.
[Host: Acar Isin]
University of Missouri St. Louis
"Random Walks with a Zooplankton"
Theories of swarming and pattern formation have recently become of
interest to engineers, chemists and physicists. Interesting examples are
offered by various self-propelled biological agents both in simulations
and in reality. But well-defined swarming experiments in the lab using
real biological agents have been problematic up to now due to size
limitations of the animal groups or lack of precise knowledge of the
agent-agent or agent-medium interactions. We present the results of lab
experiments with the zooplankton /Daphnia/, or “water flea”
intermediate in size and complexity between bacteria and birds or fish,
for example. Our experiments are compared to predictions of the “Active
Brownian Particle” theory developed by a group at Humboldt University in
Berlin. /Daphnia/ show the entire range of the theoretically predicted
behaviors from single agent to collective motions of swarms and can be
observed to perform a fascinating bio-hydrodynamic vortex under certain
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