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Engineering Plasma Applications Enabled by Advanced Computational Modeling

  • January 23, 2017
  • 4:00 p.m.
  • 117A Surge Building
  • Dr. Uri Shumlak, University of Washington, Seattle
  • Faculty Host: Dr. Bhuvana Srinivasan



 As the fourth state of matter, plasmas possess unique properties that can be exploited for engineering applications that are otherwise impossible. The applications include space propulsion with high propellant utilization efficiency, ever smaller and more powerful computers and phones, manipulation of light for aircraft cloaking, and fusion energy - a limitless green energy source, which also enables human spaceflight to the outer solar system and beyond. The study of plasmas is challenging because of the inherent disparate spatial and temporal scales and generally requires a coupled approach of targeted experimentations and variable fidelity computations. After covering some foundational information on plasmas, this seminar will focus on computational approaches that include high-fidelity kinetic models and reduced models based on moment methods. Connections between the models will be emphasized to better appreciate the reductions and assumptions and to motivate a physics-based adaptivity approach being developed at the University of Washington. The numerical solution methods are extended from prior research on finite element methods. Several applications and results will be presented that demonstrate the utility of the investigations and the potential of plasma technologies.

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