Aim: To demonstrate to bored cousin that ants traverse on paths using their sense of smell. Also to show that cc's soft computing course and things she learnt about swarm intelligence haven't gone in vain.
Apparatus: Wonly a bottle of blister's Charlie
Procedure: After having observed a long line of red ants (How I hate them!), a line that extended all across the wall of the hall to clothes on a chair that led to a box of chudwa, cc called bored cousin and sprayed a little Charlie onto the wall. There was now a wet circle with a diameter of 1 and a half inch on the wall which disappeared in a minute though of course, the smell must have remained.
Observation: Ants that got sprayed on ran for their lives. Then, straight line that ants had been following for the past hour turned chaotic. Ants started to travel on circumference of wet circle for as long as it lasted but could not figure out the way ahead. Ants on both sides of the circle would come to the periphery and then start wandering off in random directions. After some fifteen minutes, some ants successfully got onto the other side of the circle. Half an hour later there was a new path a few inches below the dreaded circle and continued for an hour more or so. All the while, even though the circle wasnt visible anymore, every ant that reached its now-only-imaginable boundaries would turn back immediately.
- Ants secrete pheromones which help other ants to follow their meanderings. When the amount of pheromone on a certain path increases, the ants know that it is a definite path to food. This also helps ants find the shortest path to a food source. For more interesting information here's http://dsp.jpl.nasa.gov/members/payman/swarm/sciam_0300.pdf
- Ants are untiring hard-working creatures.
- They are still not enough inspiration for cc.
- cc did learn some stuff from soft computing.
- Sometimes nothing will please bored cousins.