An anonymous author once pointed out that classifying problems as linear and nonlinear is like classifying things in the Universe as bananas and non-bananas. In this talk we will explore some beautiful and surprising characteristics of nonlinearity through an example in the mechanics of fluids: viscous fingering. If an air bubble displaces a viscous liquid in a narrow gap between two plates, the interface between the bubble and the liquid tends to lose symmetry. This will lead to the formation of interfacial patterns called viscous fingering that are similar to snowflakes and dendrites. We will show how by tinkering with parts of the system (for example, by making the plates elastic), we can discover a surprising range of new phenomena and observe non-linear patterns that can be found nature.
Dr Draga Pihler-Puzovic was born and raised in Belgrade, Serbia, but completed her education in Russia, obtaining her undergraduate degree in Mechanics at the Lomonosov Moscow State University. In 2007 she moved to Cambridge to work on her PhD thesis at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics (DAMTP) under the supervision of Professor T. J. Pedley, FRS. In January 2011 Dr Pihler-Puzovic came to the University of Manchester as a postdoctoral researcher, becoming a lecturer in the Manchester Centre for Nonlinear Dynamics and the School of Physics in August 2014. Her research combines experiments with mathematical modelling to understand and quantify fundamental phenomena in nonlinear physics that arise in applications ranging from physiological problems to industrially-motivated systems.
Tea and coffee will be available before the talk from 6.00pm and there will be a wine reception afterwards, ending around 8.30pm. Membership of the IOP is not required and there is no registration fee. If you would like to attend then please contact Emma Suckling before 30th November at firstname.lastname@example.org