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How bird flocks are like liquid helium
07-28-2014, 01:33 PM #1
JayRodney ⓐⓛⓘⓔⓝ
Posts:30,237 Threads:1,491 Joined:Feb 2011
A flock of starlings flies as one, a spectacular display in which each bird flits about as if in a well-choreographed dance. Everyone seems to know exactly when and where to turn. Now, for the first time, researchers have measured how that knowledge moves through the flock—a behavior that mirrors certain quantum phenomena of liquid helium. [...]
The remarkable accord with which starling flocks fly has long puzzled researchers and bird watchers alike. In the 1930s, the ornithologist Edmund Selous even suggested that the birds cooperate via telepathy. Researchers have since turned to more scientifically sound ideas, using mathematical models.[...]
Interestingly, Cavagna adds, the new model is mathematically identical to the equations that describe superfluid helium. When helium is cooled close to absolute zero, it becomes a liquid with no viscosity at all, as dictated by the laws of quantum physics. Every atom in the superfluid is in the same quantum state, exhibiting a cohesion that's mathematically similar to a starling flock.
Read more: news.sciencemag.org


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07-28-2014, 01:36 PM #2
Octo Mother Superior
Posts:41,454 Threads:1,585 Joined:Feb 2011
That's fascinating. Liquid helium eh? How weird and wonderful.
07-28-2014, 01:41 PM #3
JayRodney ⓐⓛⓘⓔⓝ
Posts:30,237 Threads:1,491 Joined:Feb 2011
yup.gif Fascinating to watch quantum events in the context of classical reality. Water displays some interesting quantum properties...

Water's strange and life-giving qualities could be at least partly explained by quantum mechanics. That is the claim being made by a group of physicists in the UK and the US, who have made extremely sensitive measurements of the protons in tiny samples of water and have found that these protons behave very differently to those in much larger sample.

Water has a host of properties that set it apart from other substances and which make it particularly suited to sustaining life. For example, the fact that it is less dense as a solid than as a liquid and that its maximum density occurs at 4 °C, means that lakes freeze from the top-down rather than the bottom-up – something that was vital to sustaining life during ice ages.
physicsworld.com

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Anonymous Kritter Show this Post
07-28-2014, 02:12 PM #4
Anonymous Kritter Anonymous Kritter
 
spock.gif Good read
07-29-2014, 07:36 AM #5
JayRodney ⓐⓛⓘⓔⓝ
Posts:30,237 Threads:1,491 Joined:Feb 2011
chuckle.gif reflected off a weather balloon.

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07-29-2014, 04:34 PM #6
UniqueStranger Art in my heart
Posts:15,516 Threads:466 Joined:Jun 2012
Very interesting JR, but now see what you have done...I've been turned on to the superfluid universe theory. lol.gif

07-29-2014, 05:45 PM #7
JayRodney ⓐⓛⓘⓔⓝ
Posts:30,237 Threads:1,491 Joined:Feb 2011
chuckle.gif Coincidentally, I was just reading this a few weeks ago http://www.scientificamerican.com/articl...m-physics/
What I found interesting about this superfluid theory is relativity does not hold in all situations.
If proven correct, that opens the door to some exciting possibilities. Maybe even in terms of space travel. spock.gif

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07-29-2014, 05:54 PM #8
UniqueStranger Art in my heart
Posts:15,516 Threads:466 Joined:Jun 2012
This topic takes my imagination to great heights and I could read about others' theories on this all day. thumbsup.gif




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