The Navier-Stokes paradigm does not capture thermal fluctuations that drive familiar effects such as Brownian motion and are seen to be key to understanding counter-intuitive phenomena in nanoscale interfacial flows. On the other hand, molecular simulations naturally account for these fluctuations but are limited to exceptionally short time scales. A framework that incorporates thermal noise is provided by fluctuating hydrodynamics, based on the so-called Landau-Lifshitz-Navier-Stokes equations, and in this talk we shall exploit these equations to gain insight into nanoscale free surface flows. Particular attention will be given to flows with topological changes, such as the coalescence of drops, breakup of jets and rupture of thin liquid films for which both analytic linear stability results and numerical simulations will be presented and compared to the results of molecular dynamics.
- Industrial and Applied Mathematics Seminar