A few in the know can lead the many, according to new research into travelling animal groups carried out by the universities of Leeds and Oxford. Crowds of Leeds biology undergraduates will be observed to test their theory later this year.
Large groups of animals such as bees, fish, sheep and birds have to make collective decisions about which direction to take, although only a few individuals know the route. Some animals use signals to communicate, such as the honeybee’s famous ‘waggle-dance’. But such signals don’t work in large groups because individuals can only see the animals closest to them.
Leeds professor in behavioural ecology Jens Krause and Oxford biologist Dr Iain Couzin created a computer model based on observations of animals to show how information is shared. They looked at groups which don’t use signalling or have a leader. The model revealed that the larger the group, the smaller the proportion of informed animals needed to guide it, and only a small proportion of animals in the know is needed for accuracy. Animals are capable of agreeing which way to go when informed individuals in the group have different preferences about which way to travel, even though these individuals don’t know if they are in the majority or minority.
Newly designed molecule binds nitrogen
23.02.2018 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg
Atomic Design by Water
23.02.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung GmbH
A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.
In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...
A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.
By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...
Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
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12.02.2018 | Event News
23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine
23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy