Fluid Thin Films Research Group

Dynamics of Thin Liquid Films: Mathematics and Experiments

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Program Summary

The science of thin liquid films has developed rapidly in recent years, with applications to coating flows, biofluids, microfluidic engineering, and medicine. These recent developments open up many opportunities for substantial contributions to the field by our group, using a combination of mathematical modeling, analysis and numerical simulation, coupled to carefully chosen quantitative experiments. Our current efforts are focused on three different free-surface flow problems: Marangoni-driven flows (via either thermal effects or surfactants), the dynamics of thin films where inertia become important, and instabilities in vibrated thin films. Our models for these phenomena are given by nonlinear partial differential equations, whose analysis and numerical computation present a rich variety of challenging problems. Several specific problems arising from earlier work on undercompressive waves and rupturing films will also be pursued.

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Harvey Mudd undergraduates Kali Allison and Wynn Vonnegut with Karen Daniels and Michael Shearer at the NCSU Undergraduate Research Symposium, July 2010.

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Publications from previous grants

Fluid Dynamics Resources

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Grant Support

We are grateful for support from the following funding programs:


Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.