Carolina mathematicians address fundamental flow differences between round and square pipes

A team of Carolina mathematicians celebrated the appearance this week of their work in Physical Review Letters, with additional coverage through a focus story in APS Physics. Graduate students Manuchehr Aminian and Francesca Bernardi, along with Professors Roberto Camassa and Richard McLaughlin published “Squaring the Circle: Geometric Skewness and Symmetry Breaking for Passive Scalar Transport in Ducts and Pipes.”

APS Physics “provides daily online-only news and commentary about a selection of papers from the APS journal collection” including focus stories “geared toward students and non-experts… for an audience with a general interest in physics.”

Read the APS Physics focus story.
(Update: Read the UNC press release.)

Congratulations to all involved!

Math + Political Science collaboration questions ‘Democratic Peace’

Using a new technique to analyze 52 years of international conflict, an interdisciplinary collaborative team between Political Science and Mathematics suggests that there may be no such thing as a “democratic peace.” The study appears this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, co-authored by Ohio State Political Science professor Skyler Cranmer, University of Iowa Political Science professor Elizabeth Menninga (who recently earned her Political Science Ph.D. from UNC–Chapel Hill), and Peter Mucha from Carolina Mathematics.

Read more here…

Fluids Lab research appears in Carolina Scientific

The Spring 2014 issue of Carolina Scientific includes a two-page spread titled “Underwater Snow” featuring the marine snow research of postdoctoral associate Dr. Shilpa Khatri and Professors Rich McLaughlin and Roberto Camassa.

“Beneath the breaking waves and sunlit ocean surface, a shower of snow begins to fall. This snow is not made of crystalline frozen flakes. Instead, it contains only phytoplankton cells, dead bits of once-living things, pieces of fecal matter and sediment that might be forming one of the largest carbon sinks ever found.” (Taylor Nelsen)

To read more, follow this link and scroll to pp.26-27.

2011-12 Recap: Fluids Lab in National Geographic News

Oil jets pre-mixed with soap are injected into stratified fluid, mimicking the internal spreading of a Gulf oil plume. Photograph by Steve Harenberg, Rich McLaughlin, Johnny Reis, William Schlieper, Will Owens, Brian White, UNC Joint Fluids Laboratory and Carolina Center for Interdisciplinary Applied Mathematics

On the second anniversary of the explosion at the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that caused the Gulf oil spill, National Geographic News profiled work in the UNC Joint Fluids Laboratory that describes how dispersants break oil into micro-droplets that can be suspended in underwater layers. This research was led by Profs. Richard McLaughlin and Roberto Camassa in the Department of Mathematics and Prof. Brian White in the Department of Marine Sciences.