Dynamics of Swarms - A Physicists Approach

Udo Erdmann

The phenomenon of collective motion is of wide interest and
therefore a lot of scientific research has been done in that field
recently. Especially in biological and social systems which seem to
be far from equilibrium most of the time, coherent motion of groups
of individuals can be observed very often. Schools of fish, flocks of
birds, groups of ants, systems of microorganisms like bacteria or
cellular slime molds etc. show cooperative behavior and collective
moving modes of a large group of these species. The variety of types
of motion goes from translational directed motion over rotational
motions up to more complex cooperative moving patterns of particles.
Various approaches which try to tackle this phenomenon have been
developed. In contrast of the rule-based models the talk will focus
on a physicists view onto the aforementioned phenomena. The dynamics
of the individuals will be modeled based on Newton's law. This
reductionist type of approach finds three main ingredients which have
to be put into the equations of motion of every single particle in
order to obtain the main types of swarming motion. Various types of
interactions are investigated. The stability of translational and
rotational motion and a transition between these two types of motion
will be discussed throughout the talk.

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