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<b>Complex Systems Seminar</b><br><i>Memory-Encoding Vibrations in a Disconnecting Air Bubble</i>

Monday, September 21, 2009
12:00 AM
335 West Hall

Speaker: Wendy Zhang (University of Chicago)

The break-up of an air bubble while it is submerged under water provides a simple and accessible example of singularity formation. In a continuum description, the break-up corresponds to a point when the Laplace pressure, the pressure difference across the bubble interface due to surface tension, diverges. Previously, dynamical processes which correspond to the formation of a singularity were thought to be controlled by evolution towards a universal dynamics, one independent of boundary and initial conditions. Using theory, simulation and experiment, we demonstrate that bubble break-up does not follow this scenario. Instead, the break-up dynamics is dominated by shape vibrations which encode a memory of deviations from cylindrical symmetry. More generally we believe such memory-encoding vibrations may arise whenever the singularity is created by focusing.