In addition, the researchers plan to expand the theory to three dimensions. Future versions of the theory aim to describe and predict the shape of flocks, and how it fluctuates. And perhaps most profoundly, the researchers intend to study how a disordered group of birds transforms into a unified flock. Knowledge about flocks of birds can be applied to collective motion in other groups of animals, and to other problems, including the behavior of humans in their automobiles. Understanding how groups of birds move together might give transportation officials and highway designers new strategies for making the rush-hour commute a bit more smooth.
John Toner and Yuhai Tu, Flocks, Herds, and Schools: A quantitative theory of flocking, to appear in Physical Review E, October 1998.
--John Toner, University of Oregon, 541-346-0979, email@example.com
--Yuhai Tu, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, 914-945-2767, firstname.lastname@example.org
--Tamas Vicsek, Eotvos University, Budapest, Hungary, email@example.com
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