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Tiny symmetric swimmer evades basic rule of fluid dynamics – Science Magazine

Mechanical Michael Phelps consists of two beads and a spring

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By Adrian ChoMay. 13, 2021 , 6:45 PM
Play a video of swimmer Michael Phelps in reverse, and youll notice right away that his stroke looks dramatically different running forward or backward in time. Such time asymmetry typifies the swimming motion of the vast majority of animalsand its absolutely essential for bacteria and other microbes. But now, a team of physicists has developed a tiny mechanical swimmer that can inch along, even though its stroke is symmetric in time. The result opens a new conceptual…

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