Welcome to the Physical Ecology Group at the University of Lincoln
Although organisms obey the same physical laws as inanimate objects the evolutionary implications of these laws are often neglected. Physical factors influence the fitness value of traits and play an important role in the course of evolution. These are the areas of investigation that interest us.
Water flung from a spinning tennis ball takes on a shape reminiscent of a spiral galaxy. As it detaches, water leaves the surface with both the tangential velocity of the spinning ball and a radial velocity due to the centrifugal force flinging it. The continued spin of the ball makes the thin ligaments of water still attached to it spiral and stretch. Eventually, surface tension can no longer hold the water together against the centrifugal forces, and the ligaments split into a spray of droplets. (Image credit: W. Derryberry and K. Tierney)