Electromagnetism and Falling Cats II

Geometry Topology Working Seminar
Friday, October 20, 2023 - 2:00pm for 1.5 hours (actually 80 minutes)
Skiles 006
Daniel Irvine – Georgia Institute of Technology – dirvine7@gatech.edu
Daniel Irvine

In this talk I will continue to develop a parallel between the classical field theory of electromagnetism and geometric mechanics of animal locomotion. The focus of the previous talk was on electromagnetism, and the focus of this talk will be on the geometric mechanics of animal locomotion. We will investigate the aphorism that a cat dropped (from a safe height) upside-down always lands on her feet. I will explain how non-trivial topology of the configuration space of the cat can act as a "source" of locomotion.

No prior knowledge of classical field theory will be assumed. I will rely on some results from part 1, but I will review the relevant definitions.