Fluids Lab takes home APS/DFD Milton van Dyke Award

fullsizeCongratulations to members of the UNC Joint Applied Math and Marine Sciences Fluids Lab for winning one of the top prizes in the Gallery of Fluid Motion at the annual meeting of the American Physical Society’s Division of Fluid Dynamics. Their poster, Variable density vortex ring dynamics in sharply stratified ambient fluids, was honored with one of the Milton van Dyke Awards, named for the author of the classic fluid dynamics visualization book, An Album of Fluid Motion. Poster authors included Professors Roberto Camassa and Rich McLaughlin, current postdocs Dan Harris and Pierre-Yves Passaggia, and former Carolina Mathematics students David Holz and Claudio Viotti and former postdoc Keith Mertens.

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!

Summer faculty research travel

For many of our faculty, summer is a time of international travel to attend workshops and conduct research in other locations. As just a couple examples., we check in on the travels of our department chair, Rich McLaughlin.

IMG_1608In June, Rich traveled to Shanghai Jiao-Tong University as an organizer and invited lecturer at NYU Shanghai’s International Conference on Mathematics of Nonlinearity in Neural and Physical Science. Other invited speakers from Carolina included Roberto Camassa and co-organizer Greg Forest. Also attending the conference from Carolina, Katie Newhall is pictured here with our former Carolina colleague David Cai.

IMG_2006Later, Roberto and Rich traveled together to Tibet, where they met with four math professors from Tibet University, including one who works on understanding the geophysical processes associated with Nantso Lake, situated at over 15,000 feet above sea level. As a large, stratified, salt water lake, this site is of particular interest to Rich and Roberto’s research.

These two trips of course represent only a sample of the many far-ranging research travels of our faculty this summer.

Carolina Mathematics faculty Roberto Camassa and Rich McLaughlin at 17,600 feet above sea level in Tibet

Carolina Mathematics faculty Roberto Camassa and Rich McLaughlin at 17,600 feet above sea level in Tibet

Carolina Mathematics at SIAM NW14

Researchers from the Joint Fluids Lab between Mathematics and Marine Sciences are in England this week to present at the SIAM Conference on Nonlinear Waves and Coherent Structures, held at Churchill College, University of Cambridge. Organizing and speaking in a minisymposium on Stratified Fluids, Coherent Structures, and Their Interactions are Professors Roberto Camassa and Rich McLaughlin, along with postdoctoral associate Dr. Shilpa Khatri. The minisymposium also includes a presentation from Carolina graduate alumnus Dr. Claudio Viotti, currently a postdoctoral associate at University College Dublin.

Even though they do not appear to be talking about this particular breaking waves experiment below at this week’s conference, noting their efforts at a nonlinear waves conference is as good as a time as any to show off the latest videos from the Joint Fluids Lab.

These videos (at 500 and 1000 frames per second) of a curling wave in the UNC Joint Fluids Lab NSF MRI wave tank were shot by Roberto Camassa, Rich McLaughlin, MASC Ph.D. student Elaine Monbureau and Mathematics Ph.D. student Chung-Nan Tzou using the high speed camera funded in the lab by (and with thanks to) the UNC Summer School.

Movies from the Chancellors Science Scholars Course

This summer brings to campus the second cohort of students in the Chancellor’s Science Scholar Program. Modeled after the nationally-recognized Meyerhoff Scholars Program at UMBC, the Program aims to provide a critical pathway to promote the success of exceptional students who aspire to become leading research scientists, with a commitment to increasing the representation of underrepresented minorities in the sciences.

This year’s entering Scholars were introduced to Mathematics through a pair of courses, one taught by Professor Rich McLaughlin that drew on activities in the Joint Fluids Laboratory, including use of a new Edgertronic high speed camera (videos below). This camera was purchased by the UNC Summer School specifically for this use, motivating the students’ mathematical investigations in this special class for their first summer in Chapel Hill.

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.

Carolina Mathematics professors connect research to Flight 370 investigation

Department Chair Rich McLaughlin and Professor Roberto Camassa appear in a recent campus update highlighting their work in the Joint Fluids Laboratory. Congratulations to them and all of their collaborators in the lab.