Dynamics of Active Suspensions

Applied and Computational Mathematics Seminar
Monday, November 28, 2011 - 14:00
1 hour (actually 50 minutes)
Skiles 006
Mathematics, Univ. of Utah
One of the challenges in modeling the transport properties of complex fluids (e.g. many biofluids, polymer solutions, particle suspensions) is describing the interaction between the suspended micro-structure with the fluid itself. Here I will focus on understanding the dynamics of semi-dilute active suspensions, like swimming bacteria or artificial micro-swimmers modeled via a simple kinetic model neglecting chemical gradients and particle collisions. I will then present recent results on the linearized structure of such an active system near a state of uniformity and isotropy and on the onset of the instability as a function of the volume concentration of swimmers, both for a periodic domain. Finally, I will discuss the role of the domain geometry in driving the flow and the large-scale flow instabilities, as well as the appropriate boundary conditions.