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APS Division of Fluid Dynamics meeting: Highlights and media registration

The 64th Annual Meeting of the American Physical Society's (APS) Division of Fluid Dynamics (DFD) will include more than 2,000 compelling presentations from across the physical sciences, engineering, and medicine. Topics include: explosions -- from tiny experiments to massive stars; the quirks of flying; why coffee spills; and how rain contributes to the spread of disease among plants.

The meeting will take place November 20-22, 2011, at the Baltimore Convention Center in the historic waterfront district of Baltimore, Maryland. Reporters are invited to attend the conference free of charge. Registration instructions and other information may be found at the end of this news release.

Preliminary Meeting Highlights


Fluid Dynamics of Bottle Filling: From large bottles with shampoos and cleaners to small bottles found in the pharmaceutical industry, the filling of bottles is a widely practiced operation in a large number of industries. Researchers will present a primarily computational study of the fluid dynamical challenges that can arise during the rapid filling of bottles.

How Mosquitoes Fly in the Rain: Raindrops are 50 times heavier than mosquitoes, yet the pesky insects still manage to thrive during rainfall and high humidity. High-speed video reveals that even a bull's-eye raindrop hit simply pushes past, letting mosquitoes buzz along to find their next meal.

From a Slow Burn to Supersonic Detonation: The transition from deflagration a subsonic flame to a supersonic detonation can occur in environments ranging from experimental and industrial systems on Earth to astrophysical thermonuclear supernovae explosions.

Mary Poppins' Umbrella and the Importance of Being Top-heavy in Flapping Flight: By creating a model system that consists of a pyramid-shaped object hovering in a vertically oscillating airflow, researchers explore how bugs and other flapping flyers use their top-heavy builds to stay aloft.

Wind Resource Evaluation for Optimized Wind Energy: As part of a special focus session on wind energy fluid dynamics, researchers evaluate wind resources in order to understand how an array of vertical-axis wind turbines extracts energy from wind.


Walking with Coffee: When and Why It Spills: In our busy lives, almost all of us have to walk with a cup of coffee. Needless to say, under certain conditions we spill that precious liquid. This is a common example of the interplay between the complex motion of a walking individual and the fluid dynamics of a low viscosity liquid contained in a cup.

Why Do Things Splash?: The splashing of a droplet when impacting a solid surface is a common, everyday occurrence, but the mechanism for splashing is not well understood. A new analysis gives insight into the subtle dynamics of the splash.

Rainfall Suspected Culprit in Leaf Disease Transmission: Rainfalls are suspected to trigger the spread of a multitude of foliar diseases, which could be devastating for agriculture and forestry. Experimental and modeling data shed light on this mode of disease transmission.

Sampling Shoes Aerodynamically to Screen for Explosive Materials: Researchers are developing a prototype shoe sampling system that relies on aerodynamic sampling to detect explosive contamination. A new study reveals the fluid dynamics of the proposed system.

Water Balloon Bursts! The Science behind the Fun: Throw a water-filled balloon on a rigid surface, pop it with a pin, hold it under water or suspend it in the air. In each case, three dynamic forces conspire to spill the contents in dramatic form.

Eggs in Milk: The Conclusion: A hard-boiled egg spinning on a countertop and passing through a puddle of milk draws milk up the side of the egg and then ejects it at the maximum radius. Experimental results are presented on this phenomenon.

Nanowires Provide Power for Swimming: A new nanowire motor exploits the flexibility of nanowires for propulsion, with potential biomedical applications.

Hydrodynamics of Wine Swirling: A crucial step in wine tasting is the so called "swirling," necessary to release the bouquet of the wine. This same action is equally crucial in a host of other physics and biology experiments and assays. A new model sheds light on the process.


Robotic Jellyfish Shows Its Moves: An unmanned underwater vehicle named Robojelly was inspired by actual jellyfish morphology. Researches used its lifelike properties to analyze the mysterious finer points of jellyfish propulsion.

Artificial Heart Valves: Better Shapes Mean Better Flow: Mechanical heart valves are extremely important medical devices, yet they are far from ideal. A new prototype with an asymmetric design more closely matches the properties of a natural, healthy heart valve.

Supernovas: How Turbulence and Combustion Combine in Stellar Explosions: Type 1a supernovas are cosmic distance markers, so understanding their inner workings is essential for establishing the cosmic yardsticks. New full-star 3-D calculations provide new insights on these cosmic explosions.

Bubbles in Drops: From Cavitation to Exploding Stars: In a microgravity experiment, researchers generated single cavitation bubbles inside nearly spherical water drops. They will discuss the possible analogies with various astrophysical processes from our own Sun to asymmetric supernovae.


The 64th Annual DFD Meeting is hosted by the Johns Hopkins University, the University of Maryland, the University of Delaware and The George Washington University. Howard University and the U.S. Naval Academy are also participating in the organization of the meeting. It will be held at the Baltimore Convention Center, located in downtown Baltimore, Maryland. All meeting information, including directions to the Convention Center, is at:


Contact: Charles E. BLue
American Institute of Physics

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