Bridging by Light, Islets in the Stream and Splash

Wendy Zhang, Assistant Professor, University of Chicago

Friday, March 28, 2008, 3:30pm

Spanos Auditorium

This seminar is part of the Jones Seminars on Science, Technology, and Society series

Engineering technologies both inspire and benefit from fundamental research. I will describe three examples from fluid dynamics. A study of opto-hydrodynamic instabilities reveals a novel light-scattering induced flow which can stabilize long liquid columns and transport materials. An understanding of the mechanism for entrainment benefits a new technique for encapsulating insulin-producing Islet cells for biomedical therapy. Finally, research on energy re-distribution by the impact of a liquid drop reveals a surprising control parameter for the amount of splash generated upon impact.

About the Speaker

Wendy W. Zhang is a professor at the Physics Department and the James Franck Institute at the University of Chicago. Her research focuses on fundamental processes in fluid dynamics, nonlinearity and soft condense matter but are often inspired by complex and novel engineering phenomena. She received her PhD from Harvard and was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Chicago and the University of Texas Austin.