Scientists claim to have identified a physical law that is violated by the manner in which sperm migrate.
Unconventional Sperm Movement
Scientists from Kyoto University discovered that the flagella, or tail, of sperm propels the particles forward through shape-changing in response to fluid interaction.
Sperm fail to provoke a reciprocal and antithetical response from their environment.
According to specialists, this method of motion contradicts Newton’s law of motion, which states that any action produces an equal and opposite reaction.
Additionally, the elasticity of the flagellum implies that there ought to be no motion whatsoever. However, sperm whip their tails without expelling a significant amount of energy into the environment.
The study used human sperm cells and algae, which have flagella to propel through liquid, according to New Scientist.
Examining Elastic Flagella
These tails can deform and revert, preventing swimming agents from being driven through the obstructing liquid.
When sperm and algae cells were examined under a microscope, the researcher discovered that the duo propelled themselves through the liquid environment using their tails in the form of wave-like motions.
According to Newton’s law of motion, the swimmers’ speed should ultimately be reduced as a result of their movements.
The deformation of a sperm’s tail in response to flapping should result in energy loss. However, the flagella prevent an equal and opposite reaction, thereby conserving energy.
The liquid helped the flagella deflect slightly, preventing an opposing reaction and saving their energy.
Scholars refer to this capacity as “odd elasticity.”
Study Published by Leiden University
A study published by Leiden University, which did not participate in the research, states, “Odd elasticity is not a generic term for activity in solids; rather, it is a well-defined physical mechanism that generates active forces in solids or other systems where a generalised elasticity can be defined without using an elastic potential.”