Autumn 2019 Seminars and Abstracts Autumn 2019 Seminars and Abstracts

Seminars take place on Monday afternoons 14:00–15:00, unless specified otherwise. Everyone is welcome.







7 Oct 

ARTS 01.01

Bartosz Protas

A Calculus of Shapes for Free Boundary Problems:a Case Study in Vortex Dynamics

14 Oct

ARTS 01.01

Duncan Hewitt

Swimming in mud: viscoplastic locomotion and slender-body theory

21 Oct


Andrey Cherdantsev

Experimental Study of Air Entrapment at Oblique Impact of a Body at a Free Surface

28 Oct

ARTS 01.01

Wei Guo

Visualization Study of Quantum Fluid Dynamics in Superfluid He-4

4 Nov



No Seminar

11 Nov


Linda Cummings

Modeling and large-scale simulation on thin film liquid crystal flows

Wed 20 Nov


Michikazu Kobayashi

Energy and helicity cascades in non-Abelian quantum turbulence

25 Nov


Scott McCue

Using Time-Frequency Analysis to Identify Features of Steady and Unsteady Ship Wakes

2 Dec 


Stefan Llewelyn Smith

Motion of vortices with buoyancy

9 Dec



No Seminar

16 Dec



No Seminar




7 Oct - Bartosz Protas, McMaster University, Ontario, Canada

A Calculus of Shapes for Free-Boundary Problems: a Case Study in Vortex Dynamics

Many problems in science and engineering are described in terms of equilibrium shapes on which certain conditions are imposed and which separate regions where the solution may have different properties. A prototypical problem of this type involves inviscid vortex equilibria in 2D and axisymmetric 3D geometries characterized by compact vortex regions embedded in a potential flow. Computation of such equilibrium configurations is made difficult by the fact that it requires finding the shape of the boundary separating the two regions. Similarly, studying the linear stability of such free-boundary problems is also challenging as it requires characterization of the sensitivity of the equilibrium solutions with respect to suitable perturbations of the boundary. We will demonstrate that such questions can be in fact systematically addressed using techniques of "shape calculus" applied to the boundary-integral formulations of such problems, leading to elegant and accurate computational approaches. In the context of vortex dynamics we use these techniques to efficiently compute the family of inviscid vortex rings initially discovered by Norbury (1973).  We also obtain an equation characterizing the stability of general vortex equilibria from which certain classical results of vortex stability can be derived as special cases. Finally, this approach is employed to solve open problems concerning the linear stability of Hill's and Norbury's vortices to 3D axisymmetric perturbations, which leads to some unexpected findings.


14 Oct - Duncan Hewitt, DAMTP, University of Cambridge 

Swimming in mud: viscoplastic locomotion and slender-body theory

Many natural fluids, suspensions, emulsions and foams are characterised by a plastic yield stress, above which they flow like a viscous fluid and below which they do not significantly deform. In this talk, a variety of mechanisms for translation and locomotion through such ‘visco-plastic’ materials are discussed, in the limit of slow motion or small spatial scales. Various classical models for micro-swimming are revisited in the case of a visco-plastic material, and a general slender-body analytical theory for such materials is developed. Numerical solutions are presented and discussed, with particular attention paid to the ‘plastic’ limit of very slow motion or large yield stress. Canonical flow structures and swimming gaits are explored. Implications for real swimmers, as well as comparison with some experimental results, are discussed. 


21 Oct - Andrey Cherdantsev, Kutateladze Institute of Thermophysics, Novosibirsk, Russia

Experimental study of air entrapment at oblique impact of a body at a free surface

In annular gas-liquid flow, droplets are torn from liquid film surface and entrained by turbulent gas stream. Impacts of the entrained droplets back onto the film occur at shallow angles and high impact velocities. In such a case, a droplet creates a long and narrow "furrow" on liquid surface, which is accompanied by massive entrapment of gas bubbles into the liquid film (see Fig. 1). This phenomenon is different from the known mechanisms of air entrapment such as air cushioning; its nature is not entirely clear and deserves intensive experimental and theoretical investigation.

First part of the presentation reports on experimental study of oblique high-speed droplet impact in "natural" conditions of annular two-phase flow in a horizontal rectangular duct using three-dimensional and stereoscopic Laser-Induced Fluorescence approaches. The results are focused on the effect of parameters of an individual droplet on the type and shape of liquid surface perturbation and intensity of bubbles entrapment.

The contribution of this phenomenon into total amount of bubbles inside the liquid film and its role in evolution of the whole ensemble of bubbles are analysed.

The second part present the results of model experiments on impact of a large (21.3 cm) solid sphere onto a stagnant layer of liquid. This study is focused on air-cushioning mechanism of entrapment and elucidates the very initial stage of impact, prior to the contact between the solid body and the liquid. Despite that the sphere may embed into liquid by 5-6 mm, it is still separated from the liquid by a thin air layer. Synthetic Schlieren method is employed for spatiotemporal measurements of the shape of the liquid surface and the air layer, including the dynamics of the crater and different kinds of waves produced by the impact.

Further experimental and theoretical studies will be aimed at clarification of the physical mechanism of air entrapment for oblique high-speed impact and at the influence of the impact angle on air-cushioning entrapment.


28 Oct - Wei Guo, National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, Florida, USA

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Florida State University, Florida, USA

Visualization study of quantum fluid dynamics in superfluid He-4

Helium-4 in the superfluid phase (He II) is a two-fluid system that exhibits fascinating quantum fluid dynamics with important scientific and engineering applications. It supports the most efficient heat-transfer mechanism (i.e. thermal counterflow), and it also allows the generation of flows with extremely high Reynolds numbers for turbulence modelling. However, the lack of high-precision flow measurement tools in He II has impeded the progress in understanding and utilizing its hydrodynamics. In recent years, there have been extensive efforts in developing quantitative flow visualization techniques applicable to He II. Two types of techniques based on the use of either particle tracers (i.e. micron-sized frozen particles) or molecular tracers (i.e. He2* excimer molecules) have been developed. We will discuss the advantages and issues associated with these visualization techniques and will highlight some recent progresses in our visualization study of counterflow and quasiclasscial turbulence in He II. We will also briefly introduce our on-going work on developing the next generation flow visualization techniques and our effort on imaging quantized vortices in a levitated drop of He II.


11 Nov - Linda Cummings, New Jersey Institute of Technology, New Jersey, USA

Title: Modeling and large-scale simulation of thin film liquid flows

Thin film flows of nematic liquid crystal will be considered, using the Leslie-Eriksen formulation for nematics.  Our model can account for variations in substrate anchoring, which may exert a strong influence on patterns that arise in the flow.  A number of simulations will be presented using an "in-house" code, developed to run on a GPU.  Current modeling directions involving flow over interlaced electrodes, so-called "dielectrowetting" will be discussed.


20 Nov – Michikazu Kobayashi, Kyoto University, Japan

Title: Energy and helicity cascades in non-Abelian quantum turbulence

Quantum turbulence is realized as a dynamically and temporally complicated structure of quantized vortices in quantum fluid such as superfluid helium and atomic Bose-Einstein condensates. In this seminar, I talk about non-Abelian quantum turbulence comprised of non-Abelian quantized vortices, the topological charge of which is classified by the non-Abelian group. Being different from reconnecting dynamics of Abelian vortices, non-Abelian vortices show the
formation of rung vortices when they collide keeping their linking topology.  As a result, non-Abelian quantum turbulence shows a large-scale networking structure of vortices in which almost all vortices are connected.  We also find several kinds of cascading processes in the wave-number space: inverse and direct cascades of the mass kinetic energy and helicity, respectively, and direct cascade of the spin kinetic energy. I will show the expecting scenario connecting the dynamics of vortices and cascading processes.  Our prediction can be tested in, for example, the cyclic phase of a spin-2 spinor Bose-Einstein condensate.


25 Nov - Scott McCue, Queensland University of Technology, Queensland, Australia

Title: Using time-frequency analysis to identify features of steady and unsteady ship wakes

The motivation here is to study how properties of a ship wake can be extracted from surface height data collected at a single point as the ship travels past.  The tool we use is a spectrogram, which is a heat map that visualises the time-dependent frequency spectrum of the surface height signal.  In this talk, the focus will be on presenting the theoretical framework which involves an idealised mathematical model with a pressure distribution applied to the surface.  A geometric argument based on linear water wave theory provides encouraging results for a range of ship speeds.  The effects of nonlinearity are also studied.  We compare our theoretical predictions with experimental results from the field and from data collected at the Australian Maritime College.  This type of work has the potential to inform ship design, the detection of irregular vessels, and how coastal damage is attributed to specific vessels in shipping channels.


2 Dec – Stefan Llewelyn Smith, University of California San Diego

Title: Motion of vortices with buoyancy

In this talk I will discuss vortical flows with density variations in the presence of gravity. Explicit calculations of the motion of non-trivial vortices in the presence of density differences and surface tension are not as common as one might expect. Three topics are presented. An asymptotic model for the evolution of a thin-core vortex filament with density variations is discussed, using a formulation based on forces due to Moore and Saffman that allows buoyancy and surface tension forces to be incorporated in a natural manner. A contour dynamics method for axisymmetric vortex rings with density differences is presented, which requires following the evolution of a vortex sheet on the boundary generated by baroclinic torques. Finally a formulation of contour dynamics applicable to helical vortices is outlined.

9 Dec – No Seminar



For further details about the seminars, or to join our mailing list, please contact Hayder Salman. For details of previous talks, please use the menu links on the left.