Levich Institute Seminar Announcement, 02/25/2014
Tuesday, 02/25/2014
2:00 PM
Steinman Hall, Room #312
(Chemical Engineering Conference Room)

Professor Troy Shinbrot
Rutgers University
Department of Biomedical Engineering

"Upstream Contamination by Floating Particles "


It has been known at least since the work of Reynolds and Marangoni in the 1880s that floating particulates strongly affect water surface behaviour, and research involving particle–fluid interactions continues in modern applications ranging from microfluidics and cellular morphogenesis to colloidal dynamics and self-assembly. In collaboration with colleagues, Bianchini, Lage & Altshuler at the University of Havana, we have found an unexpected result from a simple experiment: clean water is discharged along an inclined channel into a lower container contaminated with floating particles. Surprisingly, the floating particles are transported both up a waterfall as long as 1cm, and upstream in channels to lengths of at least several metres. We confirm through experiments and simulations that this upstream contamination is paradoxically driven by the downstream flow of clean water, which establishes a surface tension gradient that sustains the particulate motion. We also show that contamination may occur in practical applications, such as the discharge of a standard pipette or simulated release of waste into larger scale channels


Troy Shinbrot is Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Rutgers University and Editor of Physical Review Applied. His training is in mathematical physics, with a PhD in nonlinear control from the University of Maryland, College Park. He has worked in industry and has held academic appointments in Chemical as well as Biomedical Engineering. His research involves soft matter and biological morphogenesis, and he has a longstanding interest in the history and ethics of science.


Nonlinear electrostatic effects in granular matter, cellular self assembly in development and cancer, and mathematical models of network function following brain injury.

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