Wednesday September 19, 2pm in the AGR room
Dr. Lachlan Smith (University of Sydney)
Title: Chaos and the flow capture problem: Polluting is easy, cleaning is hard
Abstract: Where do you place pollutant capture units? When objects move through heterogeneous flow environments, such as oceanic micro-plastics, the answer is not obvious. We formulate flow capture problems, involving flows and sinks, and, using dynamical systems techniques, show that blindly positioning capture units carries high risk of failure. Capture efficiency depends on capture rate: long-term efficiency decreases as the number of capture units increases, whereas short-term efficiency increases. Doubling numbers of capture units can more than double the capture rate. The formal description of flow capture problems will impact engineering solutions ranging from atmospheric CO2 capture to oceanic micro-plastic pollution.
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