As many parents know, it's often easier to keep your kids under control by exerting less authority rather than more. A child who fidgets uncontrollably in a confining booster seat, for example, may be perfectly content on a plain old chair. Physicists have found that the same is true in controlling the movement of particles suspended in liquids. What's more, they speculate that many microscopic systems, macroscopic ecosystems, and human social systems may respond to a gentle touch for the very same mathematical reasons.
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