Self-propulsion at low reynolds number

Alfred Shapere, Frank Wilczek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

154 Scopus citations


We formulate the problem of self-propulsion at low Reynolds number in terms of a gauge field over the space of shapes. The computation of this field is discussed, and carried out in some examples. We apply our results to determine maximally efficient infinitesimal swimming motions of spheres and circular cylinders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2051-2054
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number20
StatePublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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