Similarities between insect swarms and globular clusters

TYPEAstrophysics Seminar
Speaker:Dan Gorbonos
Affiliation:Weizmann Institute
Time:14:30 - 15:30
Location:Lidow 620


The collective motion of animal groups is a subject of great current interest, as it is an open problem both in biology as well as in statistical physics. One key aspect that is not well understood relates to the form of the interactions between the individuals within the group. We consider mating swarms of midges, which are thought to interact primarily via long-range acoustic stimuli. We exploit the similarity in form between the decay of acoustic and gravitational sources to build a model for swarm behavior. By accounting for the adaptive nature of the midges’ acoustic sensing, we proposed an “adaptive gravity” model that can reproduce the observed large-scale organization within the midge swarm. The results of the model are calculated using the same methodology used to calculate the morphology of globular clusters held by gravity. In particular, we find that adaptive-gravity gives a new class of mass distributions, which are not found for gravitationally bound systems, but still have many common features with them.