The concept of physics explains the importance of quarantine to control the spread of COVID-19

Publicado em 23 junho 2021

Mathematical models that describe the physical behavior of magnetic materials can also be used to explain the epidemic of the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

This was carried out in Brazil by researchers at the State University of São Paulo (UNESP) in Rio Claro and Ilya Salteira. Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and Its Applications..

This study was part of a project led by Mariano de Souza and Ph.D., professors of Rio Claro Physics at UNESP. A study by Isys Mello with Souza, the last author of the treatise, as a treatise advisor. Another co-author is Antonio Seridonio, a professor in the Ilha Solteira Department of Physical Chemistry at UNESP.

The central idea of ​​this study is the similarity of the concepts of magnetism and epidemiology, comparing the interaction of electrons with the interaction between people. “We have demonstrated the importance of social distance and isolation using the Ising model, which is widely used in several areas of physics. Virus It will spread. “

The magnetic behavior inherent in electrons is related to spin. Simply put, a spin can be imagined as a small magnet that is “upward” toward the sky or “downward” toward the ground, as electrons spin up or down. Spins can interact with some materials, and this interaction is quantified in terms of exchange energy.

“We imagined it Infected person It was a “spin-up” and those who were not infected were a “spin-down”. I thought of contact between infected and uninfected people, similar to magnetic energy exchange. “

Using other more complex concepts from physics, such as the Bethe grid and penetration theory, the group demonstrated the important role played by social distance and quarantine in mitigating the transmission of the virus.

“We thought that everyone in contact with each other would network and contact between infected and uninfected people could spread the virus, for example, the first infected person. Please try to imagine. [patient zero] You are in contact with others and have not taken appropriate precautions [social distancing, face covering, hand hygiene etc]..Members of this group infected with the virus send it to relatives, friends, and other contacts, who then spread to others to create a “contact network” that corresponds to the Bethe lattice of condensate. May form Physics“Soza said.

“If Zero Patient had taken all the necessary precautions, he would have avoided infecting all these indirectly infected people with the virus,” he added.

Theoretical studies show that matter tends to be ordered at low temperatures

For more information:
Isys F. Mello et al, Epidemic, Ising Model and Percolation Theory: A Comprehensive Review Focusing on Covid-19, Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and Its Applications (2021). DOI: 10.1016 / j.physa.2021.125963

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