Mojca Vilfan: Artificial Life at Low Reynolds Number
Source: Monday physics colloquium
Artificial Life at Low Reynolds Number
J. Stefan Institute, Ljubljana
Motion of microorganisms in water is governed by the hydrodynamics of low Reynolds numbers. In this regime, viscosity prevails over inertia and time-reversible motion does not generate net displacement. In order to move, microorganisms must break the symmetry by performing non-reciprocal motion. Inspired by living microorganisms, in the past decade several artificial microswimmers have been either proposed theoretically or demonstrated experimentally. I will discuss some of the mechanisms that enable swimming at low Reynolds numbers and present experimental realisations of two types of magnetically actuated microswimmers. Their swimming mechanisms will be explained and the characteristic parameters compared to the predictions of numerical simulations.
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