Rob Sturman

Applied Project --- Mixing by Chaotic Advection

Mixing is a ubiquitous problem, with applications as diverse as microfluidics, oceanographic flows, mixing in the atmosphere, food engineering, combustion and mixing in the earth's mantle. Fluid mixing frequently appears straightforward - molecular diffusion or turbulence may make the job easy. A third way of mixing, that of mechanically stretching and folding fluid, in order to appeal to ideas of chaos theory, is also possible. A number of ingenious devices have been proposed to implement these ideas, for example the "blinking vortex", the "Kenics mixer" and the "partitioned-pipe mixer". They typically have the advantage that concepts from dynamical systems and chaos theory can be carried across to quantify or measure how "chaotic" or "complex" the resulting mixture might be.

This project has the scope for both analytical and numerical work. MATH2620 (Fluid dynamics), MATH2391 (Nonlinear Differential Equations) would be an advantage for this project. MATH3397 (Nonlinear Dynamics) or MATH5397 (Advanced Nonlinear Dynamics) and/or MATH3395 (Dynamical Systems) and/or MATH5395 (Advanced Dynamical Systems) may complement it well. Interested candidates should contact Dr Rob Sturman.