Located in: The Maths Observatory
Supervised by: Professor Dominic Vella
This image won a picture competition associated with the launch of a new website for the IOP Nonlinear and Complex Physics Group. The image is concerned with transition to turbulence in the flow along a pipe, which is considered to be one of the greatest challenges of classical Physics. Theory predicts that the flow should be smooth and laminar for all flow rates. However, the most common flow in practice is rough and turbulent. The image illustrates the transition process where dye lines show the complex structures that exist between laminar and turbulent flows. The image was taken whilst conducting a PhD at the Manchester Centre for Nonlinear Dynamics.
This image was used on the cover of the brochure Research at the BP Institute for Multiphase Flow celebrating the 15th anniversary of the BP Institute in 2016. The image shows an experiment I developed to investigate the influence that particles included in drilling fluid have on the propagation of fractures during drilling operations in oil and gas exploration. When a well is drilled through an under-pressurised sedimentary layer, a fracture may propagate out from the well, resulting in the loss of drilling fluid. To suppress this phenomenon, particles are pumped in with the drilling fluid filling the fracture. In the image shown here, a mixture of fluid and particles was injected in between an elastic sheet and a horizontal, permeable substrate. The injected fluid spread outwards radially, deforming the overlying elastic sheet, and simultaneously draining through the substrate. Particles suspended in the injection fluid accumulated on the permeable plate owing to the drainage flow, and inhibited the draining of fluid through the substrate. This research is presently being developed to inform drilling protocols.