News & Announcements
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, Dr. Solenov, 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 KENNETH CHANG April 17, 2014
It is a bit bigger and somewhat colder, but a planet circling a star 500 light-years away is otherwise the closest match of our home world discovered so far, astronomers announced on Thursday.
The planet, known as Kepler 186f, named after NASA's Kepler planet-finding mission, which detected it, has a diameter of 8,700 miles, 10 percent wider than Earth, and its orbit lies within the "Goldilocks zone" of its star, Kepler 186 - not too hot, not too cold, where temperatures could allow for liquid water to flow at the surface, making it potentially hospitable for life.
"Kepler 186f is the first validated, Earth-size planet in the habitable zone of another star," Elisa V. Quintana of the SETI Institute and NASA's Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif., said at a news conference on Thursday. "It has the right size and is at the right distance to have properties similar to our home planet."
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