Mathematics Colloquium

Sculptures formed by fluidic erosion, dissolving and melting

Speaker: Leif Ristroph, NYU

Location: TBA

Videoconference link:

Date: Monday, November 9, 2020, 3:30 p.m.



I'll survey some of our work in the Applied Math Lab on a class of moving boundary problems in which flows reshape solids during processes such as erosion, dissolution and melting. As I'll show, singular geometries such as corners, spikes and cusps seem to naturally pop up and stably persist in these problems. I'll start with past work showing that flow-driven erosion carves angular wedges and cones, a finding that took us on an expected detour to explaining the shapes of meteorites. I'll cover in more detail recent work on dissolving boundaries and how the flows naturally present during dissolution tend to yield spiky landscapes. Finally, I'll show ongoing work on ice sculptures, whose shapes formed by melting directly reflect the anomalous properties of liquid water.