Colloquium
3:00 p.m., Friday (March 26th)
Math Annex 1100
Bruce Sutherland
Department of Mathematical & Statistical Sciences
University of Alberta
Gravity Wave Tunnelling
When you are in an airplane with clouds well below you why do you
encounter turbulence? One reason is internal gravity waves. These waves
move vertically through the atmosphere and break within it. (The
equivalent phenomena on the ocean surface would be crashing waves creating
a surf). Researchers are examining how internal gravity waves are
generated, propagate and break in order to understand their influence on
the Earth's weather and climate. But many open questions remain
unresolved, and some fundamental questions have not yet been asked.
This talk will review the physics and mathematical theory for
smallamplitude internal gravity waves and will illustrate present
limitations on our understanding through laboratory experiments and
numerical simulations. The talk will focus on internal gravity wave
transmission across a "mixed patch", a problem whose dynamics are
mathematically equivalent to the quantum mechanical problem of electron
transmission across a "potential barrier".
The material will be presented in a manner accessible to senior
undergraduates and other nonspecialists of fluid dynamics.
Refreshments will be served at 2:45 p.m. in the Faculty Lounge,
Math Annex (Room 1115).
