I-AIM Interdisciplinary Seminar
(Institute for Applied and Interdisciplinary Mathematics)
3:10 PM Monday Oct. 1 in room SS 5017A
Professor Stephen Morris (University of Toronto Department of Physics)
"Some pattern formation experiments with a geophysical flavour"
I will present an overview of some recent Physics experiments which
concerned dirty water, chemical plumes and cracking mud. If time
permits, I will show some pleasant images of icicles.
Under "dirty water", we studied the front morphology of a turbidity
current as it intruded into clean water. The front was unstable to a
"lobe and cleft" pattern, which we were able to compare to recent theory
and simulations. In the "chemical plume" experiment, we are studying
rising plumes of buoyant solution in which the density change derives
from a chemical reaction. The reaction occurs at a sharp, propagating
front that converts the ambient solution into a lighter product without
much temperature change. These plumes may have some analogy to
chemically differentiated mantle plumes. Finally, under "cracking mud",
we have been studying shrinkage fracture patterns in drying cornstarch
slurries. These cracks mature into a roughly hexagonal columnar pattern
that is closely analogous to the "columnar joints" observed in some lava
Refreshments to follow in the Mathematics Lounge. All are welcome.