SMS scnews item created by Charlie Macaskill at Fri 28 Jan 2011 1657
Type: Seminar
Modified: Thu 10 Feb 2011 1707
Distribution: World
Expiry: 15 Feb 2011
Calendar1: 11 Feb 2011 1200-1300
CalLoc1: New Law School Lecture Theatre 104

2011 AMSI Lecturer

Complex analysis in low Reynolds number hydrodynamics

Professor Darren Crowdy

Reminder: seminar at midday on Friday 11th February

It is a well-known fact that the methods of complex analysis provide great advantage in studying physical problems involving a harmonic field satisfying Laplace's equation. One example is in ideal fluid mechanics (infinite Reynolds number) where the absence of viscosity, and the assumption of zero vorticity, mean that it is possible to introduce a so-called complex potential - an analytic function from which all physical quantities of interest can be inferred. In the opposite limit of zero Reynolds number flows which are slow and viscous and the governing fields are not harmonic it is much less common to employ the methods of complex analysis even though they continue to be relevant in certain circumstances.

This talk will give an overview of a variety of problems involving slow viscous flows where complex analysis can be usefully employed to gain theoretical insights. A number of example problems will be considered including problems of viscous sintering and the manufacture of microstructured optic fibres, the locomotion of low-Reynolds-number micro-organisms and the friction properties of superhydrophobic surfaces in microfluidics.


Prof. Darren Crowdy, Professor of Applied Mathematics,Imperial College London is the 2011 AMSI Lecturer. He is plenary speaker at the ANZIAM Conference (30 January - 3 February) then will undertake a lecture tour around member universities. Prof. Crowdy holds a Chair in Applied Mathematics and has been on the faculty of the Department of Mathematics since 1999. His interests are broad but centre on the application of methods of complex analysis to problems arising in the physical sciences, applied mathematics and mathematical physics. He has special interests in the field of fluid dynamics. Prof. Crowdy is currently an Advanced Research Fellow of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and is pursuing a research project on function theory in multiply connected domains and its application to physical systems. Prof. Crowdy has recently been a Visiting Professor at MIT and the California Institute of Technology. ( )