Systems exhibiting complex, coupled physics such as multiphase flow devices require computer simulations to capture their behavior in detail. These models are multiscale in nature, requiring detailed models of small systems to capture the complete physics and create coarse-grained models to capture the salient features of industrial-scale devices. In the Boyce group, we seek to develop accurate models at all levels, constantly working with experiments to validate models and uncover important physical mechanisms.
MRI has long been used as a powerful tool for investigating the interior of the human body. The principles of MRI extend just as well to other opaque 3D systems, such as chemical reactors, geological flows and water purification devices. Since MRI is built upon the principles of nuclear magnetic resonance, it cannot only create 3D images, but also monitor chemical reactions, temperature, mass transport, flow and diffusion on a spatially resolved level.
Flows involving liquid, gas and solid particles moving past one another occur everywhere, from nature to chemical reactors to the human body. These flows are complex to understand, model and measure, creating a rich body of scientific questions ripe for the picking using modern experimental and computational techniques. Addressing these questions is vital for addressing some of the greatest challenges of this century, such as mitigating carbon emissions, ensuring sustainable food and water supply and improving global health.