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Date:11/19/2008

1st Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Fluid Dynamics in San Antonio, Arnold Song, who is one member of this research group, will describe the basic motions -- and their aerodynamic implications -- that he and his colleagues at Brown have discovered so far by measuring how paddles and stretched ribbons of sailcloth vibrate in manmade breezes in a wind tunnel. As the airflow increases, for example, a paddle on a post first twists and then flaps, like a stop sign being pummeled by hurricane-force winds. The ribbon's behavior is more complicated, but also essential for understanding how bat wings or other compliant structures generate lift so efficiently.

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.
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Contact: Jason Bardi
jbardi@aip.org
301-209-3091
American Institute of Physics
Source:Eurekalert

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