Fluid dynamics laboratory


A catch all for a wide variety of activities from simulations of planetary fluids to the solidification of alloys.   

Some shots of the lab before occupation.   The entrance of the lab; a preparation  room; a few other shots before the installation of our rotating tables.  Our work is supported in part by the National Science Foundation, the Leonard X. Bosack and Bette M. Kruger Foundation and Yale University.

Some images to the right of a sequence of horizontal slices near the surface of a rotating fluid experiencing evaporative convection.  From (a) to (d) the fluid spins up, a ringed state forms due to a temporary balance of coriolis and viscous forces which breakdown into a vortex grid due to a Kelvin-Helmholtz type of instability.  The details are seen in a recent paper and movie.

When ice forms from the ocean or a metal forms from an alloy one component is rejected.  In the case of the ocean that component is salt, which is dense in water and drives compositional convection.  A range of instabilities result in the material thus formed consisting of a dendritic form of both phases--a mushy layer--the upper white region in the image to the left taken using synthetic schlieren.  Eventually, channels devoid of solid form and these are the principal conduits through which the dense liquid drains from the layer--the white plumes in the image.  The implications range from the dynamic state of the polar oceans to the structure of the inner core of the earth to the integrity of engineered structures and electronic materials.

Members and recent alumni of the Laboratory include

Rachel Berkowitz

Roxanne Carini

Tony Fragoso

Rebecca Jackson

Jerome Neufeld

Michael Patterson

Andrew Wells

Mathew Wells

Jin-Qiang Zhong

The circulation in Lake Vostok from the comfort of the Laboratory