Tuning the instrument: Spider webs as vibration transmission structures

Wednesday, September 7, 2016 - 05:31 in Physics & Chemistry

Two years ago, scientists revealed that, when plucked like a guitar string, spider silk transmits vibrations across a wide range of frequencies, carrying information about prey, mates and even the structural integrity of a web. Now, a new collaboration has confirmed that spider webs are superbly tuned instruments for vibration transmission -- and that the type of information being sent can be controlled by adjusting factors such as web tension and stiffness.

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