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Physicists discover simple propulsion mechanism for bodies in dense fluids

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A team of researchers from Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU), the University of Liège and the Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nürnberg for Renewable Energy have developed a microswimmer that appears to defy the laws of fluid dynamics: their model, consisting of two beads that are connected by a linear spring, is propelled by completely symmetrical oscillations. The Scallop theorem states that this cannot be achieved in fluid microsystems. The findings have now been published in the academic journal Physical Review Letters.
Scallops can swim in water by quickly clapping their shells together. They are large enough to still be able to move …

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