Research Article

Swimming in Spacetime: Motion by Cyclic Changes in Body Shape

Science  21 Mar 2003:
Vol. 299, Issue 5614, pp. 1865-1869
DOI: 10.1126/science.1081406

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Cyclic changes in the shape of a quasi-rigid body on a curved manifold can lead to net translation and/or rotation of the body. The amount of translation depends on the intrinsic curvature of the manifold. Presuming spacetime is a curved manifold as portrayed by general relativity, translation in space can be accomplished simply by cyclic changes in the shape of a body, without any external forces.

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