Song's talk, "On Vortex Induced Motion in Compliant Structures," will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, November 23, 2008, in Room 204B of the San Antonio Convention Center. Abstract: http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/DFD08/Event/89974.
5) WALKERS' WAKES CAN SPREAD GERMS IN AIRPLANES
Airliner ventilation systems are designed to limit passengers' exposure to airborne particles -- from ill travelers' contagious germs to terrorists' aerosol biohazards. Vents in a plane's center ceiling direct air out and down toward the floor below the windows, creating a swirling flow pattern within each row of seats that effectively confines contaminants to a single row or, at worst, its next-row neighbors.
But new research at Purdue University has shown that anyone -- a flight attendant or a passenger, for instance -- merely walking down an airliner's aisle will disrupt this carefully designed flow pattern by creating a wake of eddies that can spread contaminants as far as 10 rows away. Moreover, lead scientist Michael Plesniak says, the eddies' interaction with the ventilation system's swirling flow creates a stagnant zone "at just the wrong place." The height of the stagnant zone is exactly where seated passengers breathe.
|Contact: Jason Bardi|
American Institute of Physics