Meeting Abstract

S3-8  Friday, Jan. 4 13:30 - 14:00  Making an impact: Energy transmission during high-speed puncture events ANDERSON, P. S. L. *; CROFTS, S. B.; Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

An organism’s ability to control the timing and direction of energy flow within its body is vital to maintaining proper function. But what happens when the organism transfers this energy to a target outside its body? Take, for example, a snake injecting venom into prey, a sting ray stinging in self-defense or a trap-jaw ant attacking an invader with its spring-powered jaws. In all three cases, the organisms are attempting to puncture their targets through the transfer of energy from their bodies into the target. However, this is not a straightforward procedure. Energy transferred between systems can be lost via deformation of the tool or target, imparting momentum to the target, and creating heat. The success or failure of a puncture attempt is dictated by how well the puncturing and target organisms control the energy flow between them. While the puncturing organism can influence how energy is delivered to the target, the material properties of the target dictate the target’s reaction. My lab has begun to examine the influences of kinematic and structural factors on energy transfer during dynamic puncture events by performing high-speed experiments using both synthetic and biological tools and targets. Preliminary results show scale-dependent trends in energy transfer between puncture tool and target. For example, while increased speed allows for increased fracture in targets, there is an upper limit to this, which is partly controlled by the relative masses of the tool and target. Experimental analyses such as this will open the door for establishing a common framework for examining energy transfer dynamics between organismal systems across scale and phylogeny.