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Vortex formation in swarms of interacting particles

McInnes, C.R. (2007) Vortex formation in swarms of interacting particles. Physical Review E: Statistical Physics, Plasmas, Fluids, and Related Interdisciplinary Topics, 75 (3). 032904-032907. ISSN 1063-651X

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Vortexlike swarming behavior is observed in a wide range of biological systems. In the work reported here a discrete particle model is used to investigate the onset of such vortexlike behavior in a swarm of interacting particles. A constrained minimization of the total effective energy of the swarm of particles is performed, with the total angular momentum of the swarm conserved. It is shown that the emergence of vortexlike behavior can then be viewed as a constrained minimum energy configuration which the swarm relaxes into.