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Magnetic snakes control fluids, gravity-defying droplets, and solving a dragonfly mystery
Date:9/24/2007

er times the front set of wings flap out of sync with the back set.

The physicists found that dragonflies maximized their lift, when accelerating or taking off from a perch, by flapping both sets of wings together. When they hover, however, the rear wings flap at the same rate as the front, but with a different phase (imagine two people clapping at the same speed, but with one person's clap delayed relative to the other).

The physicists' analysis of the out-of-sync motion showed that while it didn't help with lift, it minimized the amount of power they had to expend to stay airborne, allowing them to conserve energy while hovering in place. -JR


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Contact: James Riordon
riordon@aps.org
301-209-3238
American Physical Society
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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