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Swimming in Spacetime: Motion by Cyclic Changes in Body Shape

Jack Wisdom
Science
New Series, Vol. 299, No. 5614 (Mar. 21, 2003), pp. 1865-1869
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3833864
Page Count: 5
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Swimming in Spacetime: Motion by Cyclic Changes in Body Shape
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Abstract

Cyclic changes in the shape of a quasi-rigid body on a curved manifold can lead to net translation and/or rotation of the body. The amount of translation depends on the intrinsic curvature of the manifold. Presuming spacetime is a curved manifold as portrayed by general relativity, translation in space can be accomplished simply by cyclic changes in the shape of a body, without any external forces.

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