A Theory for Undercompressive Shocks in Tears of Wine

29 October 2020
Andrea Bertozzi

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



We revisit the tears of wine problem for thin films in
water-ethanol mixtures and present a new model for the climbing
dynamics. The new formulation includes a Marangoni stress balanced by
both the normal and tangential components of gravity as well as surface
tension which lead to distinctly different behavior. The combined
physics can be modeled mathematically by a scalar conservation law with
a nonconvex flux and a fourth order regularization due to the bulk
surface tension. Without the fourth order term, shock solutions must
satisfy an entropy condition - in which characteristics impinge on the
shock from both sides. However, in the case of a nonconvex flux, the
fourth order term is a singular perturbation that allows for the
possibility of undercompressive shocks in which characteristics travel
through the shock. We present computational and experimental evidence
that such shocks can happen in the tears of wine problem, with a
protocol for how to observe this in a real life setting.

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  • Industrial and Applied Mathematics Seminar