On Thursday 21st November a group of our Long Road Physicists, along with Dave Jones Head of Department, attended a lecture from Dr Alexandre Kabla on Emergence and Instability in Biological Sciences and Technology at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge.
Dr Kabla talked through the mechanical instabilities such as the natural shapes of objects like leaves, flowers and the development of the shape of the gut and a human brain. Why are these curved the way they are? He linked the mechanical properties to the design of innovative materials and manufacturing processes. The shape of a pringle was discussed and how this is a logical result of the process of water removal during cooking, the collective movements of birds and fish were linked to the ways that animal cells move and develop. Embryo morphogenesis has shown to have the same typical movement patterns as these flocks and shoals. Dr Kabla finished by introducing the idea that these same rules apply to swarms of bots or droids.