The 2005 Alan Tayler Lecture was delivered by Prof John Bush of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Walking on Water: biolocomotion at the interface
Walking on water is one of the most striking feats in the natural world. We present the results of a combined experimental and theoretical investigation of the dynamics of water-walking creatures. The many styles of hydrodynamic propulsion at the free surface are enumerated, and the resulting distinctions form the basis of a dynamic classification of all water-walkers. We consider creatures spanning a broad range of scales, from millimetric insects reliant on surface tension, to tail-walking dolphins. Accompanying adventures in biomimetics are described.
Prof John Bush graduated in Physics at the University of Toronto, then proceeded to Harvard University for a PhD in Geophysics. He spent four years as a postdoctoral researcher at DAMTP at the University of Cambridge before joining the faculty in the Department of Mathematics at MIT, where he has been for the past seven years. His early work was in geophysical fluid dynamics, and he subsequently focussed on flows dominated by the influence of surface tension. He is presently directing much of his energy towards fluid mechanics problems arising in the biological sciences.
Information about Prof Bush's wide-ranging work in fluid dynamics is available on his web site.
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