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CMB Seminar: Jack Featherstone

May 18, 2023 | 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Title: Geometry and Structure in Spiderwebs

Abstract: Spiderwebs are fantastically versatile and complex dwellings, hunting tools, and defensive mechanisms, with structures that vary from the familiar 2D circular pattern of an orb weaver to seemingly-random 3D tangles built by cobweb spiders. We look to describe the peculiar geometry and topology of webs built by “widow” spiders (Latrodectus genus) by making fully three-dimensional scans of webs built in captivity. Such a quantitative description of the geometry and topology allows us to ask questions about relationships between structure and function in webs, like how vibrations propagate through a web, and how the spider uses these signals to triangulate prey.

After introducing some of the current research going on in the Non-linear and Non-equilibrium Physics Unit at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, I’ll discuss some interesting questions about the structure and function of spiderwebs, as well as experimental and computational techniques used to investigate these questions.

Host: Karen Daniels


May 18, 2023
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Event Category:


Riddick 314