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. Kuljanishvli or Dr. Wisbey for more information.
A look at Dr. Kuljanishvili's team
On the left, Dr. Kuljanishvili and students meet and discuss what is going on in the lab. Students at the Saint Louis University Department of Physics work closely with faculty on their research projects. Behind the students is Dr. Kuljanishivili's chemical vapor deposition system. Undergraduate students learn how to grow graphene and carbon nanotube. On the right, a student is capturing images from a microscope.Computational study of dolphins and whales hydrodynamics
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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....
The mass of an electron appears prominently in many of the fundamental laws that govern the subatomic realm, yet direct measurement has been complicated by the particle's scrawny mass. Now, a team of physicists has overcome this challenge to produce the most precise electron mass measurement ever made. Instead of trying to measure the mass directly, the researchers bound a single electron to a bare carbon nucleus and placed the resulting atom in a uniform electromagnetic field called a Penning trap (created in an apparatus similar to the one pictured above). Inside the trap, the atom began oscillating in circles with a steady frequency. The team then shot the trapped atom with microwaves, causing the spin of the electron to flip up and down. By comparing the frequency of the atom's circular movements with the frequency of the spin-flipping microwaves, the team used quantum electrodynamics equations to derive the mass of the electron compared with a proton. The team's new measurement is 13 times more precise than previous efforts, with an uncertainty of just 0.03 parts per billion, the researchers report online today in Nature. The group's precise result will help physicists more accurately calculate the fine-structure constant, an important value in tests of the standard model of particle physics, which shapes our understanding of the basic building blocks of the universe.
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