A shocking discovery: nonclassical waves in thin liquid films

06/27/2008 - 2:00pm
06/27/2008 - 3:00pm
Dr. Rachel Levy (Harvey Mudd College)

EDGE Pomona 2008 Guest Lecture

When a thin film flows down an inclined plane, a bulge of fluid, known as a capillary ridge, forms on the leading edge and is subject to a fingering instability in which the fluid is channeled into rivulets.  This process is familiar to us in everyday experiments such as painting a wall or pouring syrup over a stack of pancakes.  It is also observed that changes in surface tension due to a temperature gradient can draw fluid up an inclined plane.  Amazingly, in this situation the capillary ridge broadens and no fingering instability is observed.  Numerical and analytical studies of a mathematical model of this process led to the discovery that these observations are associated with a nonclassical shock wave previously unknown to exist in thin liquid films.

ML 134
Misc. Information: 

The lecture is free and open to the public

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