We are pleased to have Philippe Marmottant of Université Grenoble to speak about:
Physics of locomotion, an introduction
In this introductory course, we present the basic principles used in the animal and vegetal kingdom to generate locomotion, ie self-propulsion. The amazing variety of locomotion strategies reflect the necessity to follow basic physical principles that we present. The course will present the following topics:
1) Ground: the active pendulum analogy for walking and running
On ground animals use their legs as active pendulum to obtain a forward propulsion.
This analogy is helpful to understand the locomotion velocity and synchronisation.
2) Water: swimming strategies depending on the size and Reynolds number.
Swimming is peculiar for very small objects (bacteria, plancton): non-symmetrical moves are necessary,
while large animals rely on inertia and vortices.
3) Flying: frequency of beating wings
We introduce the Strouhal number for the frequency of beating frequency of wings,
and try to answer the intriguing question: what are the requirements to fly in air ?
4) Locomotion without muscles: the power of hygroscopic movements
Plants motion can be created passively when their shape changes as a function of the humidity.
Very fast motion can be obtained, to propel spores (ferns, fungi) or seeds (pea family).
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