Monday, February 13, 2012

Contrary to Popular Opinion

Every once in a while, man assumes to know how a particular aspect of reality works but, on subsequent review of same, finds outs nature's way is contrary to popular opinion as seen in an interesting article titled Hovering Not Hard if You’re Top-Heavy.

Surprisingly, their results showed that the top-heavy bugs hovered stably while those with a lower center of mass could not maintain their balance. The team showed that when the top-heavy bug tilts, the swirls of air ejected from the far side of the body automatically adjust to keep it upright.

“It works somewhat like balancing a broomstick in your hand,” explained Jun Zhang, a Professor at the Courant Institute and one of the study’s co-authors. “If it begins to fall to one side, you need to apply a force in this same direction to keep it upright.” For bugs, it is aerodynamical forces that provide this stability.

Contrary to popular opinion, bumblebees fly.  :)

In an award-winning research paper, the Bath engineers set out how they found that a wing which is rigid at the front but more flexible and bendy at the rear is the most efficient way for a small wing to generate optimum vortices and to move in air.

In doing so, they were following a path set by nature 100-350 million years ago, when bees and other insects with similar flexible wings evolved. Some birds have similar wings too.

Nature finds a way, always.
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