The Power of Film

4 March 2021
John Wettlaufer

Further Information: 

We continue this term with our flagship seminars given by notable scientists on topics that are relevant to Industrial and Applied Mathematics. 

Note the new time of 12:00-13:00 on Thursdays.

This will give an opportunity for the entire community to attend and for speakers with childcare responsibilities to present.


The pandemic has had a deleterious influence on the Hollywood film
industry.  Fortunately,  however, the thin film industry continues to
flourish.  A host of effects are responsible for confined liquids
exhibiting properties that differ from their bulk counterparts. For
example, the dominant polarization and surface forces across a layered
system can control the material behavior on length scales vastly larger
than the film thickness.  This basic class of phenomena, wherein
volume-volume interactions create large pressures, are at play in,
amongst many other settings, wetting, biomaterials, ceramics, colloids,
and tribology.  When the films so created involve phase change and are
present in disequilibrium, the forces can be so large that they destroy
the setting that allowed them to form in the first place. I will
describe the connection between such films in a semi-traditional wetting
dynamics geometry and active brownian dynamics.  I then explore their
power to explain a wide range of processes from materials- to astro- to

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  • Industrial and Applied Mathematics Seminar