Experimental Investigation of Collision Statistics of Aerosols

a particle tracking instrument that looks like a soccer ball.

Our one-of-a-kind "Soccer Ball" homogeneous isotropic turbulence flow facility with laser tomographic particle tracking instrument

Highly motivated students will assist in novel research into the statistics of aerosols in a unique flow-chamber through experiments using state-of-the-art high-speed lasers, high-speed tomography, and development of laboratory apparatus.

Project description

The study of turbulence-enhanced inertial particle collision in isotropic turbulence could improve our understanding and modeling of many particle-laden turbulent flows in nature. For example, it has recently been widely accepted that turbulence is a major factor of driving the extremely rapid growth of water droplets in the atmosphere with radius in the "size gap", from 10 to 50 microns, for which the well-known droplet growth mechanisms, condensation and gravitational collision-coalescence could explain.

In this research, we are pushing the boundaries of what is experimentally measurable in the most basic turbulent flow, isotropic turbulence, in order to uncover new phenomena that drives collisions of particles in turbulence. This requires the development of experimental tools to observe the position and motion of particles in the turbulent flow at extremely close separation distances, down to near-contact. Further, experiments must be performed at well-planned particle and turbulence conditions to describe the mechanisms under interrogation.

Currently, we are investigating the effects of hydrodynamics on particle collision in turbulence, a mechanism only observable near-contact, which drastically affects the propensity for particle collisions, in collaboration with Duke University.

Project outcome

By participating in this project, the assistant will acquire training in a hands-on laboratory setting by assisting in the development and carry-out of experiments, as well as being trained in critical thinking and the scientific method to potentially develop a research project of their own.

Project details

Timing, eligibility and other details
Length of commitment About a semester (3-5 months)
Start time Spring (January/February), Summer (May/June)
Level of collaboration Individual student project
Benefits Opportunity to apply for Zimmer Scholarship
Who is eligible
Engineering majors in their sophomore, junior, or senior year
Support Funding is available after the completion of the preparation badge. See below.

Core partners

  • Adam Hammond, PhD candidate

Project mentor

Hui Meng


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Phone: (716) 645-9173

Email: huimeng@buffalo.edu


To engage with this project, you will work through a series of Project-Based Collaboration digital badges to guide your experience. 

To get started, contact the project mentor using the contact information above to discuss availability and after you’ve received approval, you can start the Project Preparation Digital Badge. Here are helpful tips on how to contact a project mentor

Preparation guidance

Once you have registered for the Project Preparation Digital Badge, you will receive further instructions related to the activities you will need to complete. In addition, you will also complete the following preparation activities for this particular project: