The Narrow-Escape of a Microorganism

A microalga escapes one pool only to find itself in another.

Escaping through narrow apertures involves rare events and therefore is usually quite hard. It is also a classical problem for both Brownian and ballistic particles. Interestingly, microorganisms can find themselves having to find and go through a narrow aperture. Their case is peculiar as it bridges the Brownian and ballistic cases. Our new paper, just out in Physical Review Research, looks at this problem with a mix of experiments and simulations. As is often the case, we find an unexpected twist in the story…. A great collaboration with Antoine Allard, Mathieu Souzy, Jean François Louf, Matteo Contino and Idan Tuval.

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