Math colloquium on ‘Scales of Turbulence in Free Atmosphere’ is March 8

Dr. Greg Nastrom, St. Cloud State University, will speak on “Scales of Turbulence in the Free Atmosphere” on Wednesday, March 29. His talk is part of the Center for Applied Mathematics colloquium series that introduces members of the University of St. Thomas community to a variety of problems, careers and professional activities involving applications of mathematics.

All presentations in the series will be held at 3 p.m. Wednesdays in the 3M Auditorium, Owens Science Hall, Frey Science and Engineering Center, located at the southwest corner of Summit and Cretin avenues. Refreshments will be available at 2:45 p.m.

Turbulent flow is characterized by irregular fluctuations that may occur on a wide range of scales. Small-scale turbulence is familiar to all people and causes smoke to mix and airplanes to bounce. Other scales of turbulence are less familiar, and in the atmosphere the size range is limited on the large end by the size of the planet and on the small end by the effects of viscosity, that is, from thousands of kilometers to a fraction of a meter.

This talk will emphasize the methods used to observe fluctuations in the free atmosphere, above the planetary boundary layer, with discussion of the historical development of an understanding of motions at the mesoscale – from a few hundred kilometers to a few kilometers. The continuing controversy regarding the interpretation of these motions as turbulence or as waves will be discussed.

For further information, visit the CAM Web site or call (651) 962-5524.