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Research Abstracts Online
January 2010 - March 2011

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University of Minnesota Twin Cities
College of Science and Engineering
Department of Mechanical Engineering

PI: Christopher J. Hogan

Thermal Transport in the Transition Regime

This group has developed a new Brownian Dynamics Computation Technique termed "Two-Body Collisions Dynamics” which allows them to the calculate the energy, mass, and momentum transfer rates to aerosol particles (or colloidal particles) of arbitrary shape at all Knudsen numbers. To the researchers’ knowledge this is the first ever simulation technique able to calculate these rates. With calculations of these rates, they can make predictions of how particles behave in the environment or in intentionally designed composite materials. For example, vapor uptake and cloud formation by combustion-generated particles may have considerable effects on global climate change; the researchers’ calculations allow them to determine from first principles the rate of vapor uptake. While the algorithm applied in these calculations is relatively simple, calculations need to be repeated a number of times to get proper statistics and convergence on calculated values, which requires the use of the supercomputers.

Group Members

Ranganathan Gopalakrishnan, Graduate Student
Kenneth Hum, Undergraduate Student
Daniel E. Mascarenhas, Graduate Student
Derek R. Oberreit, Graduate Student
Vinay Premnath, Graduate Student
Thaseem Thajudeen, Graduate Student