The Saint Louis University Department of Physics is now accepting applications for the Integrated and Applied Sciences (IAS) Ph.D. program in Nanomaterials and Condensed Matter Physics track. Please contact Dr. Kuljanishvili or Dr. Wisbey for more information.
Congratulations Elena for Receiving a NSF Graduate Fellowship
|Elena Beluyut received the prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) Fellowship. They recognized her many accomplishments, dedication, and hard work. Elena has participated in research with Dr. Kuljanishvili on carbon nanotubes and with Dr. Warren on modeling tectonic faults.|
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In a collaboration with Dr. Mark McQuilling from the Dept. of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, Dr. Potvin and his students are studying the hydrodynamic drag of cetaceans with the aim of understanding how much energy these animals spend to travel and feed. His team uses computer simulations of the flows about the body of these whales to figure out the forces that resist their motion through the water. The color picture in the top left shows a pressure map on the body (as represented by the so-called Cp - pressure coefficient). Here one sees the pressure to be highest near the head, and lowest over the middle third of the body. Here the fins and flukes have been removed. The effects of those are determined via water tunnel investigations. The simulations are based on Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), where the equation of motions of the water particles (F = ma !) are calculated on each one of the tetrahedrons making up the mesh shown in the top middle photo. To save computer time, the mesh is at its highest resolution (ie with the smallest tetrahedrons) near the body where the flows are deflected the most (and where they are more complicated). These calculation are performed here at SLU, either on workstations or on a large computer cluster (top right).
Novel muscle and connective tissue design enables high extensibility and controls engulfment volume in lunge-feeding rorqual whales
R.E. Shadwick, J.A. Goldbogen, J. Potvin, N.D. Pyenson, A.W. Vogl, Journal of Experimental Biology, 216, 2691 (2013).
Muscle serves a wide variety of mechanical functions during animal feeding and locomotion, but the performance of this tissue is limited by how far it can be extended. In rorqual whales, feeding and locomotion are integrated in a dynamic process called lunge feeding, where an enormous volume of prey-laden water is engulfed into a capacious ventral oropharyngeal cavity that is bounded superficially by skeletal muscle and ventral groove blubber (VGB)....
A minimal model for finite temperature superfluid dynamics
N. Andersson, C. Kruger, G.L. Comer, L. Samuelsson, Classical and Quantum Gravity, 30, 235025 (2013).
Building on a recently improved understanding of the problem of heat flow in general relativity, we develop a hydrodynamical model for coupled finite temperature superfluids. The formalism is designed with the dynamics of the outer core of a mature neutron star (where superfluid neutrons are coupled to a conglomerate of protons and electrons) in mind, but the main ingredients are relevant for a range of analogous problems. The entrainment between material fluid components (the condensates) and the entropy (the thermal excitations) plays a central role in the development. We compare and contrast the new model to previous results in the literature, and provide estimates for the relevant entrainment coefficients that should prove useful in future applications....
By DENNIS OVERBYE MARCH 17, 2014
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - One night late in 1979, an itinerant young physicist named Alan Guth, with a new son and a year's appointment at Stanford, stayed up late with his notebook and equations, venturing far beyond the world of known physics.
He was trying to understand why there was no trace of some exotic particles that should have been created in the Big Bang. Instead he discovered what might have made the universe bang to begin with. A potential hitch in the presumed course of cosmic evolution could have infused space itself with a special energy that exerted a repulsive force, causing the universe to swell faster than the speed of light for a prodigiously violent instant.
If true, the rapid engorgement would solve paradoxes like why the heavens look uniform from pole to pole and not like a jagged, warped mess. The enormous ballooning would iron out all the wrinkles and irregularities. Those particles were not missing, but would be diluted beyond detection, like spit in the ocean.
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