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Mathematics Colloquium


Date:  Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Title:  Topological approaches to problems of stirring and mixing

Abstract:  I will review two topological approaches to stirring and mixing. The first involves constructing systems such that the fluid motion is topologically complex, usually by imposing a specific motion of rods. This works particularly well for very viscous or complex fluids, such as polymers, but the approach can also be applied to "taffy pullers". I will discuss optimization strategies that can be implemented. The second approach is diagnostic, where flow characteristics are deduced from observations of periodic or random orbits and their topological properties. Recent developments involving coordinates for equivalence classes of loops have greatly expanded the range of computationally-tractable problems.

Speaker:  Jean-Luc Thiffeault
Institution:  The University of Wisconsin


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