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Explosive plants and ballistic tongues: elasticity in action

Prof. Derek E. Moulton ( Associate Professor in Mathematical Biology, Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford )

Almost every biological entity is faced with the challenge of motion.  Consequently, nature has produced countless ingenious solutions to the task of getting from point A to point B.  At the fundamental level, motion involves converting potential energy to kinetic energy.  A particularly intriguing approach is to utilise elastic energy, which when released can produce very rapid motion.  In this talk, I will discuss two innovative uses of elasticity, one from the plant world and one from the animal kingdom.



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