Past OCCAM Wednesday Morning Event

29 January 2014
10:15
Mitya Pushkin
Abstract

Suspensions of active particles, such as swimming microorganisms, turn out to be efficient stirrers of the surrounding fluid. This fact may be directly relevant to the feeding and evolutionary strategies of swimming cells. Microfluidic devices exploring swimmers-induced mixing have been proposed. The possibility of a significant biogenic contribution to the ocean circulation is currently under intense debate. However, understanding fluctuations and the effective tracer diffusion in these non-equilibrium systems remains a challenge.  

In this talk we focus on the fundamentals of these processes.  We discuss the impediments to stirring by force-free microswimmers and give a classification of the possible stirring mechanisms. We show that enhanced mixing may arise due to entrainment of the surrounding fluid by individual swimmers moving on infinite straight trajectories. Our first exact result shows that the total amount of fluid entrained by a swimmer, also know as its Darwin drift, is finite and can be decomposed into a universal and model-dependent parts that have a clear physical meaning.

A different stirring mechanism arises for swimmers having curved trajectories. We show that the previously suggested model of swimmers moving in straight finite runs interspersed with random reorientations can be solved exactly. In particular, we calculate the effective tracer diffusion coefficient for a suspension of dipolar swimmers and show that swimmers confined to a plane give rise to a Levy flight process.

Our results provide a quantitative description of the enhanced tracer mixing in dilute suspensions of microswimmers. They agree with the results of numerical simulations and recent experiments with suspension of E. coli.

  • OCCAM Wednesday Morning Event
17 July 2013
10:15
Benoit Darrasse
Abstract
<p>The good use of condiments is one of the secrets of a tasty quiche. If you want to delight your guests, add a pinch of ground pepper or cinnamon to the yellow liquid formed by the mix of the eggs and the crème fraiche. Here, is a surprise : even if the liquid is at rest, the pinch of milled pepper spreads by itself at the surface of the mixture. It expands in a circular way, and within a few seconds, it covers an area equal to several times its initial one. Why does it spread like that ? What factors influence this dispersion ? I will present some experiments and mathematical models of this process.</p>
  • OCCAM Wednesday Morning Event
16 July 2013
10:15
Georgy Kitavtsev
Abstract

*****     PLEASE NOTE THIS SEMINAR TAKES PLACE ON TUESDAY     *****

Reduced ODE models describing coarsening dynamics of droplets in nanometric polymer film interacting on solid substrate in the presence of large slippage at the liquid/solid interface are derived from one-dimensional lubrication equations. In the limiting case of the infinite slip length corresponding to the free suspended films a collision/absorption model then arises and is solved explicitly. The exact collision law is derived. Existence of a threshold at which the collision rates switch from algebraic to exponential ones is shown.

*****     PLEASE NOTE THIS SEMINAR TAKES PLACE ON TUESDAY     *****

  • OCCAM Wednesday Morning Event
15 July 2013
10:15
Scott Tsai
Abstract

*****     PLEASE NOTE THIS SEMINAR TAKES PLACE ON MONDAY     *****

Ultralow interfacial tension mixtures have interfacial tensions that are 1,000 times, or more, lower than typical oil-water systems. Despite the recent utility of ultralow interfacial tension mixtures in industry and research, quantifying the interfacial tension remains challenging. Here I describe a technique that measures ultralow interfacial tensions by magnetically deflecting paramagnetic spheres in a co-flow microfluidic device. This method involves the tuning of the distance between the co-flowing interface and the magnetic field source, and observing the behavior of the magnetic particles as they approach the liquid-liquid interface--the particles either pass through or are trapped. I demonstrate the effectiveness of this technique for measuring very low interfacial tensions by testing solutions of different surfactant concentrations, and show that the results are comparable with measurements made using a spinning drop tensiometer.

*****     PLEASE NOTE THIS SEMINAR TAKES PLACE ON MONDAY     *****

  • OCCAM Wednesday Morning Event
24 June 2013
10:00
Prof. Tongxiang Gu
Abstract

*****     PLEASE NOTE THIS SEMINAR WILL TAKE PLACE ON MONDAY 24TH JUNE 2013     *****

Energy equations describing magnetic and inertial confinement functions (ICF) are strongly coupled, time dependent non-linear PDEs. The huge disparity of the coefficients in the coupled non-linear equations brings tremendous numerical difficulties to get high resolution solutions. It results in highly ill-conditioned linear systems in each non-linear iteration. Solving the resulted non-linear systems is time-consuming which takes up to 90% in the total simulation time. Many customized numerical techniques have to be employed to get a robust and accurate solution.This talk will present an inexact Newton-Krylov-Schwarz framework to solve the problem, demonstrating how to integrate preconditioning, partial Jacobian matrix forming techniques, parallel computing techniques with the Newton-Krylov solvers to solve the challenging problem. The numerical results will be shown and other numerical problems will be mentioned.

*****     If anyone is planning to take the 11.36 train after the seminar to the NA conference in Glasgow a taxi from the Gibson building is being arranged. Please contact Jude, shengxin.zhu@maths.ox.ac.uk, to book a place in the taxi.     *****

  • OCCAM Wednesday Morning Event
19 June 2013
12:00
Abstract

*****     PLEASE NOTE THIS SEMINAR WILL COMMENCE AT 12.00     *****

I will present experimental work on collective dynamics in two different systems: (i) a collection of self propelled droplets and (ii) coupled mechanical oscillators.  

In the first part, I will talk about microswimmers made from water-in-oil emulsion droplets. Following a brief description of the swimming mechanism, I will discuss some of the collective effects that emerge in quasi 1 and 2 dimensional confinements of swimming droplets. Specifically, I dwell on hydrodynamic and volume exclusion interactions, only through which these droplets can couple their motions. 

In the second part, I will present recent results about an intriguing dynamic known as a chimera state. In the world of coupled oscillators, a chimera state is the co-existence of synchrony and asynchrony in a population of identical oscillators, which are coupled nonlocally. Following nearly 10 years of intense theoretical research, it has been an imminent question whether these chimera states exist in real systems. Recently, we built an experiment with of springs, swings and metronomes and realised, for the first time, these symmetry breaking states in a purely physical system.

*****     PLEASE NOTE THIS SEMINAR WILL COMMENCE AT 12.00     *****

  • OCCAM Wednesday Morning Event
17 June 2013
12:00
Dr Oskar Menser
Abstract

*****     PLEASE NOTE THIS SEMINAR WILL TAKE PLACE ON MONDAY 17TH JUNE 2013     *****

Computing is an exercise of discretization of the real world into space, time, and value. While discretization in time and space is well understood in the sciences, discretization of value is a scientific domain full of opportunity. Maxeler's Multiscale Dataflow Computing allows the programmer to finely trade off discretization of value with real performance measured in wallclock time.

In this talk I will show the connection between discretization of value and Kolmogorov Complexity on one hand and approximation theory on the other. Utilizing the above concepts together with building general purpose computing systems based on dataflow concepts, has enabled us to deliver production systems for Oil & Gas imaging (modelling, multiple elimination, RTM, Geomechanics), Finance Risk (derivatives modelling and scenario analysis), as well as many scientific application such as computing weather models, Astrochemistry, and brain simulations. Algorithms range from 3D Finite Difference, Finite Elements (sparse matrix solvers), pattern matching, conjugate gradient optimization, to communication protocols and bitcoin calculations. Published results of users of our machines show a 20-50x total advantage in computations per unit space (1U) and computations per Watt.

*****     PLEASE NOTE THIS SEMINAR WILL TAKE PLACE ON MONDAY 17TH JUNE 2013     *****

  • OCCAM Wednesday Morning Event
11 June 2013
10:15
Koichi Takahashi
Abstract

***** PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS WILL TAKE PLACE ON TUESDAY 11TH JUNE ****

Signal transduction pathways are sophisticated information processing machinery in the cell that is arguably taking advantage of highly non-idealistic natures of intracellular environments for its optimum operations. In this study, we focused on effects of intracellular macromolecular crowding on signal transduction pathways using single-particle simulations. We have previously shown that rebinding of kinases to substrates can remarkably increase processivity of dual-phosphorylation reactions and change both steady-state and transient responses of the reaction network. We found that molecular crowding drastically enhances the rebinding effect, and it shows nonlinear time dependency although kinetics at the macroscopic level still follows the conventional model in dilute media. We applied the rate law revised on the basis of these calculations to MEK-ERK system and compared it with experimental measurements.

***** PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS WILL TAKE PLACE ON TUESDAY 11TH JUNE ****

  • OCCAM Wednesday Morning Event

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