The Physics of Ant Swarms

Tuesday, 24 December 2013 | buzz

If you were going to describe thousands of ants coming out of an anthill, you might say they were “pouring out,” or even “erupting.” As it turns out, that description is particularly apt. Physicists at the Georgia Institute of Technology have discovered that swarms of ants can work together to form, by interlocking their own bodies, masses that act sometimes like a liquid, and sometimes like a solid. James Gorman is a science reporter for the New York Times, and he joined Monday Buzz host Brian Standing by phone on December 23, 2013 to talk about what makes these discoveries particularly interesting.

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