Wednesday 2 December 2015 h. 14:30, Room 2BC30

Marta Zoppello (Padova, Dip. Mat.)

"A simple mathematical model for micro-swimmers"

Abstract

What does it mean swimming? How can mathematics treat this problem? What is the best strategy to move in a certain direction?

The study of the swimming strategies of micro-organisms is attracting increasing attention in the recent literature. One of the main difficulties is the complexity of the hydrodynamic forces exerted by the fluid on the swimmer as a reaction to its shape changes.

We show that there exists an optimal swimming strategy which leads to minimize the time to reach a desired target. Numerical simulations performed are in good agreement with theoretical predictions and suggest that the optimal strategy is periodic, i.e. composed of a sequence of identical strokes.