Quanta Magazine

Naturalist Lynn Faust made famous discovery of fireflies synchronizing fireflies in Tennessee in the 1990s. She and physicist Raphaël Sarfati set up high-sensitivity video cameras at the edges of fields and forest clearings to record flashes. Statistical analysis of this painstakingly gathered data proved that all the fireflies within the cameras’ view at a scene really did emit flash bursts at regular, correlated intervals. As a physicist, he felt that a system with wild fluctuations could prove far more informative than one that behaved perfectly.

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