Applied Math Colloquium

Friday, Sep 21, 2012, 11:30 AM
Cullimore Lecture Hall, Lecture Hall II
New Jersey Institute of Technology


Understanding biolocomotion in fluids: from passive to active

Jun Zhang


Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences and Department of Physics, New York University



Flying birds and swimming fish are familiar sights to everyone, but their remarkable locomoting abilities are often poorly understood. Inspired by these examples, we investigate experimentally the interactions between unsteady flows and dynamic boundaries (here flapping wings or fins). In one experiment, we study the physical or functional origin of flapping flight and investigate how finite flexibility of a wing determines the flight speed and even the flight direction. In another experiment, we investigate the group dynamics of multiple locomotors as they interact with each other through the passing flows. These experiments have offered a few surprises.