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Mathematics Group

Fluid Pinch-off and Sprays

Fluid pinch-off is a highly challenging problem. Computational techniques either break down when topological change occurs or become highly inaccurate and miss most of the subtle dynamics. We have built a new mathematical model applicable to a host of fluid breakage issues. Our new approach relies on embedding the interface, the velocity, and the potential in higher dimensional implicit forms, and then solving a coupled set of PDEs that naturally transition through fluid breakup. Using this approach, we have been able to obtain a remarkably close match with experimental data, correctly computing asymptotic constants of fluid self-similarity as breakup is approached as well as the resulting rapid reconfiguration due to surface capillary waves and separation into microdroplets.