Flying Carpets

A recent paper by M. Argentina et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 99, 224503 (2007), titled Settling and Swimming of Flexible Fluid-Lubricated Foils, addresses an intriguing questions – can “carpets fly?”.

Some flat, sheet-like shaped fish, like rays and skates, can glide along the ocean bottom almost effortlessly, and the authors of this paper try to explore the parameter space and find the best conditions under which elastic sheets (or foils) have the easiest time to propagate in a Newtonian or non-Newtonian fluids.

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