Swirlonic Super Particles

Sharing because “swirlonic” made me smile. :slightly_smiling_face: I enjoy novel words, and I suppose it’s not every day scientists feel free to invent one?

To this end, large-scale models of active particles were being scrutinized by experts at Leicester, in order to understand basic principles underlying active particle dynamics and apply them in a scenario of an evacuation strategy for customers in crowded place. Unexpectedly, the ‘super-particles’ milling in a circular motion were stumbled upon by Leicester’s physicists who subsequently coined the phenomenon as “swirlonic.”

The “swirlon” — a novel state of active matter — displayed a stunning behavior whereby instead of moving with acceleration, the quasi-particle groups moved with a constant velocity, proportional to the applied force and in the same direction of the force. This conduct seemingly violates the Second Newton’s Law, currently taught in secondary schools across the UK.

Also, I was wondering what this referred to and how it applies to what they’re seeing. Hopefully my question makes sense. Anyone know?

“These patterns have previously been observed for animals at different evolution stages, ranging from plant-animal worms and insects to fish, but rather as singular structures, not as a phase which borders other phases, resembling gaseous and liquid phases of ‘normal’ matter.”


That is amusing. :slight_smile: There a a HUGE jump between “quasi-particles” and “observed for animals at different evolution stages”. I think the editor wan’t paying much attention to this one.


In my opinion, articles on sites like SciTechDaily are typically pretty low quality and not very reliable.

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Source paper has references to schooling fish and such.
Swirlonic state of active matter

Thanks - took the time to read/skim since I didn’t last night.

Yes, after reading the paper, it seems like a bad copy-and-paste and reword. Still very interesting though.

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I’m sure the science is very cool. I’m just bitter about the state of science journalism (although there are many wonderful science journalists out there too).


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