Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Wind concentrates pollutants with unexpected order in an urban environment

24.08.2012
Cities – with their concrete canyons, isolated greenery, and congested traffic – create seemingly chaotic and often powerful wind patterns known as urban flows. Carried on these winds are a variety of environmental hazards, including exhaust particles, diesel fumes, chemical residues, ozone, and the simple dust and dander produced by dense populations.

In a paper published in the American Institute of Physics (AIP) journal Physics of Fluids, researchers present the unexpected finding that pollutant particles, rather than scattering randomly, prefer to accumulate in specific regions of the urban environment and even form coherent structures.

"The unexpected finding is coherent patterns in fluid flows were thought to have no real analog in nature," said Wenbo Tang of Arizona State University in Tempe. "In previous studies, the existence of these patterns in fluid flows was only verified with idealized 'theoretical' flows. It was not known if such structures were robust enough to manifest in the environment."

The researchers were able to verify this by using a new mathematical formula, the first of its kind, to simulate the long-term random motion of pollutant particles as would be found in the real world. These more realistic simulations revealed that coherent patterns emerged from the random motions of particles carried along by the urban flow. The results can be used to generate maps of well and poorly mixed regions and highlight urban areas that are most susceptible to high concentrations of pollutants, indicating locations that should be avoided or remedied.

According to the researchers, the modeling capabilities developed in this project directly benefit decision makers addressing issues related to urban pollution, human comfort, and the effects of climate change on urban areas. The research also aims to understand the interconnection of urban flows with the regional and global atmosphere.

Article: "The geometry of inertial particle mixing in urban flows, from deterministic and random displacement models" is published in Physics of Fluids.

Link: http://pof.aip.org/resource/1/phfle6/v24/i6/p063302_s1

Authors: Wenbo Tang (1), Brent Knutson (1), Alex Mahalov (1), and Reneta Dimitrova (2)

(1) School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona

(2) Environmental Fluid Dynamics, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana

Charles Blue | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.aip.org

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Computer model predicts how fracturing metallic glass releases energy at the atomic level
20.07.2018 | American Institute of Physics

nachricht What happens when we heat the atomic lattice of a magnet all of a sudden?
18.07.2018 | Forschungsverbund Berlin

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers

A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.

The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A smart safe rechargeable zinc ion battery based on sol-gel transition electrolytes

20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Reversing cause and effect is no trouble for quantum computers

20.07.2018 | Information Technology

Princeton-UPenn research team finds physics treasure hidden in a wallpaper pattern

20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>