Locomotion and Transport of
Daniel Tam, MIT
Locomotion and transport are dominant aspects of living organisms and the ability to generate mechanical work is found across all the length scales of biology, from nanometric molecular motors up to macroscopic complex multicellular organisms. In this presentation, we will discuss the crucial role of kinematics, elasticity, geometry and mechanical design in achieving efficient, stable and simple locomotion through fluids at different length scales. First at low Reynolds number, we will examine the active periodic deformations of simple unicellular organisms and their significance with respect to efficient swimming and effective nutrient uptake. At higher Reynolds number, we will consider the influence of flexibility on the flight of autorotating winged seedpods to illustrate the effect of aeroelastic coupling on passive flight.