Bacteria, Surfaces and Laminar Flows

Lecture by Howard A. Stone

Donald R. Dixon '69 and Elizabeth W. Dixon Professor
in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Princeton University

Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Room 1106 Mechanical Engineering
Lecture at 4:00 p.m.

Reception at 3:30 p.m. Engineering Hall Lobby

Laminar viscous flows are well understood, as evidenced by the extensive discussion in standard textbooks. In this talk I present some examples of laminar flows where the results may seem surprising. First, I briefly survey spreading of liquids on patterned surfaces, which results in polygonal shapes or polygonal hydraulic jumps, and bursting bubbles that give rise to many more bubbles. Second, I present recent studies of the interplay of flow and surface-attached bacteria. In one study, results are presented documenting bacteria that move along the surface opposite the flow direction.

Then, I describe experiments examining the influence of flow on biofilms formed on the surfaces of curved microchannels. Thread-like structures of biofilm are formed in the middle of the channel and the origin for these structures is traced to three-dimensional flow features in the neighborhood of corners.

Howard A. Stone

Howard A. Stone received the Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of California at Davis in 1982 and the PhD in Chemical Engineering from Caltech in 1988. Following a postdoctoral year in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at the University of Cambridge, in 1989 Howard joined the faculty of the (now) School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University, where he eventually became the Vicky Joseph Professor of Engineering and Applied Mathematics. In 1994 he received both the Joseph R. Levenson Memorial Award and the Phi Beta Kappa teaching Prize, which are the only two teaching awards given to faculty in Harvard College. In 2000 he was named a Harvard College Professor for his contributions to undergraduate education. In July 2009 Howard moved to Princeton University where is Donald R. Dixon '69 and Elizabeth W. Dixon Professor in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. In 2010 he received a teaching award from the students in the School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Professor Stone received the NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award, is a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS), and is past Chair of the Division of Fluid Dynamics of the APS. For ten years he served as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Fluid Mechanics, and is currently on the editorial boards of New Journal of Physics and Physics of Fluids and the advisory board of Soft Matter. He is the first recipient of the G.K. Batchelor Prize in Fluid Dynamics, which was awarded in August 2008. In 2009 he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering.