Fluid

Alexandra Foley | March 8, 2013

Water purification is the process by which chemicals, contaminants, and sediments are removed from dirty water to make it clean, and there are many processes through which this can be done. What you might not know, is that ozone molecules can be used as a means of disinfection in the purification process. “Ozonation” has been used to purify water, kill germs and bacteria in food, and even get rid of bad smells. Not only does ozonation provide clean water without […]

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Andrew Griesmer | February 26, 2013

Metamaterials are a new and emerging technology with vast potential to reshape our views on what is and isn’t possible in this physical world of ours. Unlocking the mysteries and overcoming the obstacles associated with metamaterials would lead to a host of technological advances once thought impossible by even the most imaginative of individuals. From making computer chips smaller and faster than the most advanced current ones, to protecting structures from earthquakes, to developing imaging technology that doesn’t harm tissue […]

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Andrew Griesmer | February 20, 2013

The electrical grid describes the network created for producing electricity, transmitting it and delivering it to the consumers. A “smart grid” is an electrical grid that gathers information on the suppliers and consumers automatically to improve efficiency and sustainability in the system. As the automated technology improves, the hardware that physically connects the electrical grid together must improve as well. This hardware, the “nuts and bolts” of the grid, is comprised of transformers, cable joints, terminations, bushings, and fault current […]

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Andrew Griesmer | February 11, 2013

Ultra-precise optical components require blemish-free surfaces that often cannot be achieved by the machining processes that grind these components. Fluid jet polishing (FJP) is a new technology being developed by Zeeko Ltd to replace the hand polishing that was often required. With the help of COMSOL, Zeeko was able to create a product that polishes the optical components in only ten minutes instead of an entire day, and without waveforms.

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Fanny Littmarck | February 1, 2013

Microbubbles filled with oxygen can be injected into contaminated lakes to restore the water quality. Typically, water is purified via water-treatment plants, but this microbubble technique is both inexpensive and more environmentally-friendly in comparison. As seen in a COMSOL News 2011 article, oxygen microbubbles are a researcher’s way of copying nature’s own self-restoration mechanism for cleaning contaminated lakes.

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Valerio Marra | January 22, 2013

One of my favorite sitcoms is “The Big Bang Theory”, thanks to its focus on physics. From time to time they run funny experiments that can be easily arranged at home, causing me to wonder if I know the physics that are at work. One of my favorite episodes is when they fill the cone of a speaker with a suspension of starch in water. Instead of spattering around, the suspension starts to dance because it behaves more like a […]

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Fanny Littmarck | January 7, 2013

If I asked you to envision a wind turbine, odds are you’d picture a wind farm in some remote location. With good reason; that’s commonly where they are found. If you’re a student or faculty of Case Western Reserve University, on the other hand, you might think of the wind turbine you have on campus. Does it make sense to set up wind turbines in urban settings? These two researchers suggest that it does.

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Valerio Marra | January 3, 2013

Nature is full of counter-intuitive phenomena; I’m fascinated by everyday examples like the one we talked about this summer, sinking bubbles in a pint of Guinness, but I have to say that engineering has its fair share of such examples too. The concept of heat exchange in coaxial pipes struck me as a student, as it showed me the relentless tinkering attitude typical of engineers wanting to optimize their design. In this kind of heat exchanger both streams, hot and […]

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David Kan | December 31, 2012

Hydraulic fracturing (popularly referred to as “fracking”) is a method to increase production of oil and gas from certain types of geological formations. It has been used for decades, but recently, as the practice has increased, fracking has become a controversial topic. I will avoid taking sides in this debate, but the fact that there is a conflict implies there needs to be a deeper understanding of the process and its effects.

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Valerio Marra | December 21, 2012

The winter here in Boston has been very mild so far. A few days I would even have liked to have the air conditioning back on. I checked in with one my colleagues to check if he was having an equally hard time staying cool, and to my surprise, he was not. Why? He had constructed a make-shift air conditioner (A/C).

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Andrew Griesmer | November 26, 2012

While alternative energy is the energy of the future, fossil fuels are the energy of right now. Coal, especially, is still heavily relied on for energy production and is a primary source of electricity generation in many countries including the US and China. In fact, world coal consumption is actually increasing year-to-year. Scientists need to be concentrating on how to make alternative energies more widespread, but they also need to make coal a better, more efficient fuel source. Designing systems […]

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