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Using X-rays, Computers and Robots to Reveal the Secrets of Swimming in Sand

Dinner and social hour begin at 7:00 pm with an approximately hour-long presentation and question-and-answer session to follow.

Our Open Seating Policy will be in effect for this event.

Venue capacity = 90 / Estimated day-of RSVP turnout = 50%

Using X-rays, Computers and Robots to Reveal the Secrets of Swimming in Sand

Daniel I. Goldman, Assistant Professor

School of Physics, Georgia Tech

I will summarize our recent progress in experiments and models of the locomotion of a sand-swimming lizard, the sandfish. We use high speed x-ray imaging to study how the 10 cm-long sandfish swims at 2 body-lengths/sec within sand, a granular material that displays solid and fluid-like behavior. Below the surface the lizard no longer uses limbs for propulsion but generates thrust to overcome drag by propagating an undulatory traveling wave down the body. To discover how the sandfish swims within this "frictional fluid", we use computer and robot modeling to build an artificial sandfish.

Dr. Daniel Goldman is an Assistant Professor in the School of Physics at the Georgia Institute of Technology and a adjunct member of the School of Biology and is a member of the Bioengineering Graduate Program. His  investigates the interaction of biological and physical systems with complex materials.

Dan received his S.B. in physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1994 and a Ph.D. in the physics of granular media from The University of Texas at Austin in 2002. He did postdoctoral work in organismal biomechanics at University of California at Berkeley. Dan became a faculty member at Georgia Tech in January 2007.

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  • Barbara B.

    Somewhat interesting - but, hard to follow. I enjoyed meeting new people

    March 27, 2012

  • Jon J.

    Professor Daniel Goldman's presentation was beautifully done -- good charts, explained well, with enthusiasm that was contagious.

    I'll be back for more meetings.

    March 25, 2012

  • Winston

    The presentation was witty, multi-disciplinary and engaging. This was truly one to remember.

    March 25, 2012

  • Kathy

    Interesting topic, well and enthusiastically presented. Great demo with the chain, beaker and sand! I also loved the movie clips and photos.

    March 25, 2012

  • Ken M.

    Excellent talk

    March 25, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Excellent presentation. Fascinating

    March 25, 2012

  • Marc M.

    Gosh, this was a great talk, covering a range of topics from physics to biology to robotics. The videos were fascinating and provided insights into how scientists like Dan think go about thinking about the work that they do.

    March 25, 2012

  • John C. ("Chris") S.

    Excellent talk. Not at all what I thought it would be like. Dreaming of sandfish...

    March 25, 2012

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