Fluid Physics

Research area

Fluid Physics is one of the largest disciplines of classical physics. The fascinating phenomena that are encountered in liquids and gases, ranging from the almost mathematical beauty of a droplet falling from a faucet to the chaos of large scale turbulence, have challenged and continue to challenge some of the worlds finest physicists, mathematicians and engineers.

Fluid Physics is a key discipline to solving many issues at the forefront of the technological development of society. Future challenges that Fluid Physics will be dealing with range from large scale phenomena such as fully developed turbulence in single and multiphase flow, through mesoscale phenomena like the behavior of particles, bubbles, (bio-)polymers and even living cells within a flow, to the distinct mechanics of gases and liquids in the world of nano- and microfluidics.

All of these challenges have a direct link to topics of prime interest for society, such as flight safety, sustainable energy and greenhouse gases, lab-on-a-chip appliances for the synthesis and detection of substances in small quantities, processing and mixing of granules in, e.g., the pharmaceutical industry, ink jet printing, biofluids, and biomedical applications like contrast agents, to just name a few.

Both in their research and in education, the groups involved in the Graduate School aim at a full understanding of the underlying physical phenomena. We accomplish this understanding from a combined approach of the problems at hand, using a mixture of experimental, theoretical and numerical points of view.

The Fluid Physics discipline is naturally and closely tied to the strategic orientations ‘Sustainable Energy and Greenhouse Gases’ (turbulence and multiphase flow) and ‘Smart Devices and Materials’ (microfluidics, lab-on-a-chip) of the IMPACT institute and to the 3TU Center of Competence ‘Fluid and Solid Mechanics’. Because of its many ties with the strategical research plan of IMPACT, the current proposal is strongly supported by the Scientific Director of the institute, prof. dr. ir. J.A.M. Kuipers. Apart from that there are clear and substantial links to the reseacrch of the MESA+ (nanofluidics, microfluidics, and electrowetting) and BMTI (medical acoustics and contrast agents) institutes.