Past Meetup

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

This Meetup is past

89 people went

Price: $3.00 /per person

Manuel's Tavern

602 N. Highland Ave NE · Atlanta, GA

How to find us

We'll be in the main dining room at Manuel's.

Location image of event venue


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.