Science and Engineering

University of California, San Diego

James Friend
La Jolla, CA
December 2017


A single investigator at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) aims to challenge long held views on the physics of atomization crucial to many applications from insect sprays, fuel injection, and ink-jet printing to pulmonary drug delivery.  Despite 180 years of accumulated wisdom, current atomization theories consistently fail to predict droplet size, flow rate, and power requirements.  Recent advances in digital holographic microscopy now provide the needed speed to image waves formed at the fluid/air interface, called capillary waves, which ultimately pinch off into atomized droplets.  The PI expects to generate a new physical understanding of atomization by combining this technique with simultaneous measurements of turbulence in the fluid and the speed, size, and number of droplets generated.  The ubiquity of atomization, advances in understanding, and hence control of this important process make this a high impact project.

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