Swimming at low Reynolds numbers-motility of micro-organisms

Microbes are important: their lives are intimately (both symbiotically and hostilely) intertwined with the lives of humans. Microbes are the tiniest organisms that we know of; although they inhabit largely the same environment as humans, their world is strange to us. This is because we cannot see them with a bare eye and because the different length scales select different rules of physics to be important. As the microbes affect us, we devote significant activity to control them. This goal obviously challenges our comprehension of ‘how the microbes work’. There are at least two strategies to accumulate this understanding. One is to simply ‘look’, classify their type and behavior and make reason out of these observations. This approach is fathered by Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, the inventor and constructor of the famous single lens microscope. A second strategy is to create models that are either analytically or experimentally tractable, and to take advantage of this tractability to analyze the models thoroughly  nd then relate the findings to the actual biological problem. This second strategy is naturally the domain of physics. Especially, when it comes down to one of the more mechanical aspects of microbial biology—motility.

  • Autor: Garstecki P; Cieplak M
  • Rok: 2009
  • Plik: pobierz

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Created by PONG, design Maciej Szkopański.