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Monday, October 6, 2008 - 13:00 ,
Location: Skiles 255 ,
Shengfu Deng ,
School of Mathematics, Georgia Tech ,
Organizer: Haomin Zhou

We consider the three-dimensional gravity-capillary waves on water of finite-depth which are uniformly translating in a horizontal propagating direction and periodic in a transverse direction. The exact Euler equations are formulated as a spatial dynamical system in stead of using Hamiltonian formulation method. A center-manifold reduction technique and a normal form analysis are applied to show that the dynamical system can be reduced to a system of ordinary differential equations. Using the existence of a homoclinic orbit connecting to a two-dimensional periodic solution for the reduced system, it is shown that such a generalized solitary-wave solution persists for the original system by applying a perturbation method and adjusting some appropriate constants.

Monday, September 29, 2008 - 13:00 ,
Location: Skiles 255 ,
Silas Alben ,
School of Mathematics, Georgia Tech ,
Organizer: Haomin Zhou

We discuss two problems. First: When a piece of paper is crumpled, sharp folds and creases form. These are distributed over the sheet in a complex yet fascinating pattern. We study experimentally a two-dimensional version of this problem using thin strips of paper confined within rings of shrinking radius. We find a distribution of curvatures which can be fit by a power law. We provide a physical argument for the power law using simple elasticity and geometry. The second problem considers confinement of charged polymers to the surface of a sphere. This is a generalization of the classical Thompson model of the atom and has applications in the confinement of RNA and DNA in viral shells. Using computational results and asymptotics we describe the sequence of configurations of a simple class of charged polymers.

Monday, September 22, 2008 - 13:00 ,
Location: Skiles 255 ,
Dongbin Xiu ,
Division of Applied Math, Purdue University ,
Organizer: Haomin Zhou

There has been growing interest in developing numerical methods for stochastic computations. This is motivated by the need to conduct uncertainty quantification in simulations, where uncertainty is ubiquitous and exists in parameter values, initial and boundary conditions, geometry, etc. In order to obtain simulation results with high fidelity, it is imperative to conduct stochastic computations to incorporate uncertainty from the beginning of the simulations. In this talk we review and discuss a class of fast numerical algorithms based on generalized polynomial chaos (gPC) expansion.The methods are highly efficient, compared to other traditional In addition to the forward stochastic problem solvers, we also discuss gPC-based methods for addressing "modeling uncertainty", i.e., deficiency in mathematical models, and solving inverse problems such as parameter estimation. ones, and suitable for stochastic simulations of complex systems.

Monday, September 15, 2008 - 13:00 ,
Location: Skiles 255 ,
Peijun Li ,
Department of Mathematics, Purdue University ,
Organizer: Haomin Zhou

Near-field optics has developed dramatically in recent years due to the possibility of breaking the diffraction limit and obtaining subwavelength resolution. Broadly speaking, near-field optics concerns phenomena involving evanescent electromagnetic waves, to which the super-resolving capability of near-field optics may be attributed. In order to theoretically understand the physical mechanism of this capability, it is desirable to accurately solve the underlying scattering problem in near-field optics. We propose an accurate global model for one of the important experimental modes of near-field optics, photon scanning tunneling microscopy, and develop a coupling of finite element and boundary integral method for its numerical solution. Numerical experiments will be presented to illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed method and to show the features of wave propagation in photon scanning tunneling microscope. The proposed model and developed method have no limitations on optical or geometrical parameters of probe and sample, they can be used for realistic simulations of various near-field microscope configurations.