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Complex fluids in nature and industry

GGAM Colloquium

Speaker: Becca Thomases, UC Davis, Dept. of Mathematics
Location: 1147 MSB
Start time: Thu, Feb 28 2019, 1:35PM

Complex fluids are mixtures that can be made up of suspensions of particles, dilute solutions of polymers, or other materials in a liquid solvent. Due to the variety of possible combinations their material properties vary wildly and characterizing the response of these materials to different types of probing is a major area of theoretical and experimental research. Unlike Newtonian fluids, there are no well agreed upon equations of motion, like the Navier-Stokes equations for water, to predict the flow response in different situations. In this talk I will describe some of the mathematical challenges involved in analyzing and simulating viscoelastic fluids, a class of complex fluids that have an elastic memory of past deformation. I will describe instabilities and mixing in microscopic flows and applications such as swimming organisms in mucus.