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New mathematics captures intricate fluid interface dynamics

A new mathematical framework developed at Berkeley Lab, published in the June 10 issue of Science Advances, allows researchers to capture fluid dynamics coupled to interface motion at unprecedented detail. The framework, called "interfacial gauge methods", developed by Robert Saye, a Luis W. Alvarez Fellow in the Mathematics Group at Berkeley Lab, rewrites the equations governing incompressible fluid flow in a way that is more amenable to accurate computer modelling. In this example, a jet of water impacts on a reservoir of water underneath, forming ripples just above the surface in the main jet. These ripples are caused by the surface tension of water, and relate to a type of Plateau-Rayleigh instability. The movie shows the vorticity of fluid, and reveals a type of vortex shedding that occurs at the base of the ripples not previously seen in experiment. (Credit: Robert Saye/Berkeley Lab)

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