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The fun - and merit - of collaborative physics

By: Caitlin Hayes,  Cornell Research
Sun, 02/05/2017

Like all researchers, Itai Cohen, associate professor of physics, has a lot of questions. But unlike many, his questions make big, topical leaps. From fruit flies to mosh pits, from origami to cartilage—Cohen dreams of preventing stampedes in Mecca, understanding the complex neuromechanics of fruit fly flight, and making self-folding robots from a single sheet of atoms. How can all this happen in one lab? Well, the answer is: it doesn’t.

“Many faculty tend to dig deep into one area, but there are very few people who sit back and see what the links are between different fields,” Cohen says. “That’s what we’ve figured out how to do. But this approach wholly depends on our collaboration with experts.”

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