Type: 
Yunker Lecture
Date-Time: 
Monday, May 4, 2015 - 17:00 to 18:00
Location: 
151 Weniger Hall
Event Speaker: 
Howard Stone, Donald R. Dixon ’69 and Elizabeth W. Dixon Professor in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Princeton University
Local Contact: 
Bo Sun, Henri Jansen
Abstract: 

Fluid mechanics is often viewed as a mature scientific discipline. One of the remarkable aspects of the subject is its relevance to an enormous variety of phenomena. The designs of airplanes, sailing vessels, birds, insects, and fish are all largely determined by principles of fluid mechanics. The physiology of our bodies is impacted by fluid dynamics principles, whether we consider the movement of red blood cells that squeeze through the small capillaries of the microcirculation or the delivery of drugs orally or in the blood stream. Almost all industrial processing requires handling materials in the fluid state, whether we are making large meter-scale sheets of glass for the world’s skyscrapers or depositing thin, submicrometer thick films for coatings and lithographic processes. At the largest scales of life on earth we need to understand the fluid movements of air in the atmosphere, water in the oceans, and ice sheets in the arctic regions. Thus, the eternal relevance of fluid mechanics is linked to understanding all of life’s processes, spanning those that are natural, industrial, and planetary. The subject is also one with continual surprises that provide intellectual challenges and important bridges to other disciplines. We will illustrate some of these themes by (I) highlighting the effect of fluid motion on biofilms, (ii) new observations on the impact of flow on the motility of bacteria on surfaces, and (iii) surprising features of flow in a T-junction, which is perhaps the most common element in many piping systems. In this way we will gain exposure to a world of ideas relevant to industry, physiology, and environmental health.

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