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Title: Understanding Explosions: From Catastrophic Accidents to the Creation of the Universe
Originating Office: IAS
Speaker: Oran, Elaine
Issue Date: 23-Apr-2013
Event Date: 23-Apr-2013
Group/Series/Folder: Record Group 8.15 - Institute for Advanced Study
Series 3 - Audio-visual Materials
Location: 8.15:3 EF
Notes: IAS Distinguished Lecture.
Co-organized by the Office of the Provost.
Abstract: An explosion occurs when energy is released into a physical system faster than it can be smoothly equilibrated. The result is that the pressure increases rapidly, shock waves form, and these waves propagate throughout the system. This very general description covers scenarios that range from the Big Bang, to thermonuclear explosions in stars, to magnetohydrodynamic explosions in the sun, and to most of the chemical explosions on earth. In each case, the explosion event is short and dramatic, and it is usually with excitement and alarm that people see, hear, or feel the effects. In some cases, people have attempted to control an explosion, as in propulsion and combustion systems when they try to use the explosion process and the output energy. In this presentation, the speaker will describe and examine some of the fundamental properties and transitions that are the underpinnings of all explosions. In particular, she will consider how the transitions that occur on the smallest scales can have catastrophic large-scale effects.
Prof Elaine Oran received her MPhil in Physics and PhD in Engineering and Applied Science at Yale University. She is currently the Senior Scientist for Reactive Flow Physics at the US Naval Research Laboratory and is responsible for carrying out theoretical and computational research on the fluid and molecular properties of complex dynamic systems. She is also an Adjunct Professor of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Michigan and a Visiting Professor at the University of Leeds.
Prof Oran's recent research interests include combustion and propulsion, rarefied gases and microfluidics, fluid turbulence, materials engineering, high-performance computing and parallel architectures, computational science and numerical analysis, biophysical fluid dynamics, wave equations, and astrophysical phenomena such as supernova explosions and jets. She is author of over 300 refereed journal articles as well as many conference papers and presentations. She is also the coauthor of the book Numerical Simulation of Reactive Flow.
Prof Oran is a Member of the US National Academy of Engineering, an Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and a Fellow of both the American Physical Society and the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics. She has also received honorary doctorates from Ecole Centrale de Lyon and the University of Leeds.
Duration: 76 min.
Appears in Series:8.15:3 - Audio-visual Materials
Videos for Public -- Distinguished Lectures