Research Horizons Seminar
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - 12:05
1 hour (actually 50 minutes)
Classical mathematical capillarity theory has as its foundation variational methods introduced by Gauss. There was a heuristic explanation given earlier by Thomas Young, and his explanations did have quantitative scientific content. Due partially to their simplistic nature, the explanations of Young live on today in engineering textbooks, though in certain cases it has been pointed out that they lead to anomolous predictions (which are effectively avoided in the Gaussian variational framework). I will discuss a fundamentally new direction in mathematical capillarity which is motivated by an effort to harmonize the heuristic and rigorous elements of the theory and has other important applications as well.