News Release

Scientists to tackle ‘world’s grand challenges’ at American Physical Society meeting

Meeting Announcement

American Physical Society

Researchers from around the world will present new findings in the physics of fluids and their impact on global challenges at the 75th annual meeting of the American Physical Society’s Division of Fluid Dynamics online and in person at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis Nov. 20-22. 

A Hybrid Format

The meeting will have both online and in-person components. Select sessions will be recorded and uploaded to the virtual platform within one week after the in-person meeting concludes. Contributed sessions may be pre-recorded and uploaded to the virtual meeting platform at the discretion of the presenter.

Scientific Program

Browse a selection of featured talks below or explore the scientific program in its entirety. All times are in Eastern Standard Time.

The 41st annual Gallery of Fluid Motion – a visual arts competition and exhibition that illustrates the science and beauty of fluid motion – will be held at the meeting. Winners will be announced in a ceremony on Nov. 21 at 4 p.m. EST. 

Press Conferences

Daily press conferences will present trends in fluid dynamics research related to climate and the environment, health and medicine, animals and food. They will be held online and in person in room 210 of the Indiana Convention Center. 

Nov. 20
Food: 10 a.m. EST

Nov. 21
Animals: 1 p.m. EST
Health and Medicine: 3 p.m. EST

Nov. 22
Climate and Environment: 9:30 a.m. EST

Meeting registration is required to attend the press conferences. Additional details, including instructions for joining the press conferences remotely, will be sent daily via email throughout the meeting to registered journalists. Press conferences will be recorded and available upon request.

Press Registration

News media with valid APS press credentials may register for the meeting at no cost. To request press credentials, visit APS’ online press room. Registration will remain open throughout the meeting. 

Refreshments and Lunch 

A press room for registered journalists will operate throughout the meeting and will offer complimentary beverages, lunches and space to work.

Health and Safety Guidelines

APS will no longer verify vaccination status or test results. All attendees are expected to obtain a negative COVID test before the meeting and monitor their personal health during the meeting. If an attendee does not feel well for any reason or tests positive for COVID-19, they are responsible for refraining from all in-person proceedings. Please read APS’ health and safety guidelines for complete details. 

Featured Talks

Simulation Reveals More About Unique Larynx Structure Tied to Bat Echolocation 
Nov. 20, 9:44 a.m. EST, Room 135 

Bat larynges have two pairs of bilateral membranes not found in other mammals. Scientists suspect that these structures enable bats to emit their high-frequency and intense ultrasonic calls. In this talk, Chuanxin Ni and colleagues will describe how they developed a bat larynx computational model by incorporating flow simulations and membrane vibration. This updated bat vocalization model better captures how laryngeal membranes interact with airflow inside bat larynges. According to the authors, it is the first membrane vibration simulation that has been applied to echolocation in bats.

Analyses Depict How Shrubs Help Prescribed Burns Become Out-of-Control Wildfires
Nov. 21, 1:38 p.m. EST, Room 241

In Southern California, prescribed burns designed to reduce wildfire risk by eliminating surface detritus, like dry or dead shrubs, can spiral into fires so powerful that they spread from tree crown to tree crown. But until now, little work has been done to examine the role of these shrubs as fuel ladders — vertical pieces of flammable vegetation that help fire ascend into the treetops — in the creation of crown fires. During this presentation, Sanika Nishandar and colleagues will delve into their experimental and computational research concerning shrub fuel ladders. They will also provide data that is useful for the improvement of firefighting and fire management strategies. They say these insights could help refine current models designed to predict the likelihood of a crown fire emergence during prescribed burns. 

Researchers Plumb the Depths of Clog Formation, With Applications Ranging From 3D Printing to Regular Sink Clogs
Nov. 22, 8:00 a.m. EST, Room 234

Suspension clogs occur when particles in suspension can’t pass through fluid channels. This phenomenon was difficult to study experimentally and model until now. By accounting for particle concentration, clogging probability and system geometry, a new approach can predict the potential for suspension-type clogs in differently shaped, constricted channels. Here, Alban Sauret and colleagues will introduce their work on modeling suspension clogs, specifically on the degree to which particles squeeze together and create bridges over channels to obstruct passage. They say the findings could improve 3D printing, city infrastructure planning and everyday plumbing.

Bio-Inspired Urinal Design Hits the Mark By Preventing Splashback 
Nov. 22, 9:31 a.m. EST, Room 139 

Since their invention over a century ago, urinals continue to cause splashback, creating an environment ripe for bacterial growth. Unless resources, chemicals and labor are used for regular cleaning, public bathrooms can quickly become unsanitary spaces. But new urinal designs could eliminate this unsanitary phenomenon. In this talk, Kaveeshan Thurairajah and colleagues will share how they combined droplet physics, geometric insights from nautilus shells and observations of dog urination to build a splashback-resistant urinal that allows for a more sanitary bathroom experience and simplified maintenance. Interestingly, the scientists also replicated and tested a urinal used for an iconic modern art piece, “Fountain” by famous artist Marcel Duchamp, as part of their testing process.

Model of Urban Wind Can Show the Best Way to Ventilate Buildings to Protect Against Disease Spread and Hurricanes
Nov. 22, 11:05 a.m. EST, Sagamore 123

The way that wind moves inside of and around buildings has a serious impact on individual and societal well-being. For example, poor indoor ventilation facilitates the spread of COVID-19 and fosters environments hospitable for rare, but serious, airborne diseases, like Legionnaires’ disease. Meanwhile, buildings designed without consideration for external airflow and wind loading are more susceptible to damage during hurricanes and extreme weather events. Now, computational modeling can help quantify both indoor ventilation and external wind loading. Catherine Gorle and colleagues will present their new modeling frameworks and explain how they can efficiently predict indoor ventilation and external wind loading under changing wind conditions like speed, direction and temperature. They tested the models’ efficacy using measurements in real buildings and wind tunnels. According to the researchers, these simulations can play a vital role in improving the sustainability and resiliency of the built environment.

About the Division of Fluid Dynamics

Established in 1947, the American Physical Society’s Division of Fluid Dynamics exists for the advancement and diffusion of knowledge of the physics of fluids with special emphasis on the dynamical theories of the liquid, plastic and gaseous states of matter under all conditions of temperature and pressure.

About the American Physical Society

The American Physical Society is a nonprofit membership organization working to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics through its outstanding research journals, scientific meetings and education, outreach, advocacy and international activities. APS represents more than 50,000 members, including physicists in academia, national laboratories and industry in the United States and throughout the world.

To receive APS press releases via email, sign up for the press list. Credentialed journalists receive a weekly tip sheet from the Physical Review journals and complimentary meeting registration.

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