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The dynamics of small bodies suspended in low Reynolds number flows: Applications in physics and biology

AuthorsTuval, Idan
AdvisorPiro, Oreste
Issue Date19-Jul-2005
PublisherUniversidad de las Islas Baleares
AbstractWe live in a fluid world. The vast majority of our body is fluid as the vast majority of our external environment is. From any single cell to complex ecosystems, we belong to a fluid reality. Hence, most of the phenomena that surround us and constitute our existence, have to do, in one way or another, with fluids. And we know they comprise a rich and complex world. This Thesis has been an exploration of that world. We have asked ourselves questions about the dynamics of bodies in fluid lows; questions about their transport, growth, mixing, reaction, control and cooperative behavior. To answer these questions, we have developed and explored appropriate theoretical frameworks. We have analyzed and modelled a variety of instances in which the motion of a body in a fluid environment determines a given process. In the process, I believe, we have also opened new and interesting questions to be answered in the future. We have directed our exploration towards two goals: On one hand, the solution of different fluid. On the other hand, the exploration of an increasing complexity of the internal dynamics of the studied bodies and of the fluid body interaction. Our motivating problems have been of widely interdisciplinary nature. We have explored technological applications in the miniaturization industry, biological processes that determines the left right pattering of our body plan, micro-ecological instances where cooperative behavior enhances colony survival, crystallization of inorganic substances where fluid mediated symmetry breaking events take place and subtle mechanisms that lead to an inhomogeneous distribution of passive particle in three dimensional chaotic flows. What did I learn? First of all I learned to explore. I have learned to look for the appropriate tools in order to progress between each landmark in my road. From classical hydrodynamics to dynamical systems methods. From numerical simulations to direct experimentation. Above all, I found in the synergia of theoretical thinking, numerical simulations and laboratory experiments, the most exciting and eficient way into the scientific knowledge.
Description198 págs.-- Texto en inglés.-- Tesis doctoral de la Universidad de las Islas Baleares, Facultad de Física y del Departamento de Física Interdisciplinar del Instituto Mediterráneo de Estudios Avanzados (IMEDEA-CSIC/UIB).-- Fecha de lectura: 01-06-2005.
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