Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 22 Issue 03

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Volume 22, No. 3
Pages 271 - 272


Living at Micro Scale: The Unexpected Physics of Being Small

George Jackson
First Paragraph

Planktonic organisms live in a world where viscosity, molecular diffusion, and thermal fluctuations dominate, a world outside the mainstream of ocean physics studies. The task of explaining the properties of this domain has fallen to talented biologists, such as Vogel (1981), Berg (1983), and Denny (1993), who provide intuitive understandings about it. Within the last year, two new books exploring the world of the small have arrived. The first, by Kiørboe (2008), has a strong emphasis on biological interactions, experimental tests, and oceanographic implications. The second, by David Dusenbery, published this year, emphasizes the physical nature of this realm.


Jackson, G. 2009. Review of Living at Micro Scale: The Unexpected Physics of Being Small, by D.B. Dusenbery. Oceanography 22(3):271–272, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2009.91.


Berg, H.C. 1983. Random Walks in Biology. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 164 pp.

Denny, M.W. 1993. Air and Water: The Biology and Physics of Life’s Media. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 360 pp.

Dusenbery, D.B. 1992. Sensory Ecology: How Organisms Acquire and Respond to Information. W.H. Freeman and Company, 558 pp.

Kiørboe, T. 2008. A Mechanistic Approach to Plankton Ecology. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 228 pp.

Vogel, S. 1981. Life in Moving Fluids. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 484 pp.

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