Bizarre 'Swirlons' Are a New Kind of Matter

Fish school, insects swarm and birds fly in murmurations. Now, new research finds that on the most basic level, this kind of group behavior forms a new kind of active matter, called a swirlonic state. 

Physical laws such as Newton's second law of motion — which states that as a force applied to an object increases, its acceleration increases, and that as the object's mass increases, its acceleration decreases — apply to passive, nonliving matter, ranging from atoms to planets.

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