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.
Many chemical reactions produce gases as a stream of bubbles out of a solution. Here we see the electrolysis of an aqueous sodium hydroxide solution (NaOH), which produces hydrogen gas on the cathode (left) and oxygen gas on the anode (right). In timelapse, the gas bubbles nucleate on the electrode, slowly growing larger. Once the the bubbles are large enough to detach, though, they rise so quickly they look like they disappear! The large buoyant forces on them drive that brief journey to the surface. By contrast, the smaller bubbles rise slowly, held back by their lesser buoyancy and the viscous drag they experience. (Video and image credit: Beauty of Science)