Fanny Littmarck | October 16, 2013

The COMSOL Conference 2013 Boston finished up on Friday last week. There were lots of excellent posters and user presentations, and some enriching conversations during the coffee breaks. On Thursday, our three keynote speakers took to the stage and treated us to each of their multiphysics simulation stories. Here’s a round-up of who presented and what they shared with the audience.

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Fanny Littmarck | October 8, 2013

A Gaussian beam that is striking an array of nanorods is an example of optical scattering. Consider metallic nanorods that are very close together and have a diameter much smaller than the wavelength of a Gaussian beam that falls upon them. If the beam were to be polarized along the rods, they would act as though they were not actually individual rods, but a sheet of metal. The array is nearly transparent to the wave when it is polarized perpendicular […]

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Fanny Littmarck | September 30, 2013

Wireless systems are growing increasingly thinner and more advanced. In order to keep this trend going, engineers must consider how to optimize the designs of the components that make up data transmission systems. One such component is the spiral resonator, which allows the system to communicate properly by filtering out unwanted frequencies and letting the appropriate ones through. Spiral resonator filter design can be analyzed and optimized using simulation software, as seen in a recent story from AltaSim Technologies.

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Fanny Littmarck | August 27, 2013

Plate heat exchangers have a larger surface with respect to their volume as compared to a conventional shell and tube design, making for an efficient temperature regulation device. As the name infers, these types of heat exchangers consist of layers of corrugated metal forming channels in between. In order to optimize their performance, you need the flow through the channels to be well-distributed. As you can imagine, the flow is very detailed and modeling it can be computationally demanding, if […]

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Fanny Littmarck | August 20, 2013

The same window that allows natural light into your home also brings about an increase in your air-conditioning bill. While certain measures have been taken to improve the energy efficiency of windows, they still account for a large portion of buildings’ energy costs. As unfavorable as that is, we ultimately want our buildings to have windows, and tend to accept the sunlight in/energy bill up trade-off. However, advancements are currently underway to improve this trade-off by lessening the energy charges […]

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Fanny Littmarck | August 12, 2013

It seems everyone and their kid brother has a cell phone these days — and we are constantly using them. We don’t just rely on them to make calls anymore, either; they serve as our maps, calendars, to-do lists, channel for social interaction, and so forth. This continuous use begs the question: “What about the radiation our phones emit, and how much of it is absorbed by our brains?” When considering this, scientists use the specific absorption rate (SAR) to […]

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Fanny Littmarck | July 25, 2013

From supporting research to creating custom prosthesis, what doesn’t 3D printing seem to promise these days? We all know 3D printing has arrived, and the technology is already being put into practice by companies and tech-savvy consumers everywhere. It seems there’s a new 3D printing success story published every day, and no matter how fascinating, it makes you wonder about the wider repercussions and limitations of 3D printing.

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Fanny Littmarck | July 16, 2013

Our day-to-day lives are dependent on the safety of technical systems and processes. We blindly trust that reactor vessels withstand the test of time, that the train or ship we’re on does not break down. These metal structures, in turn, rely on accurate welding processes. Here’s where BAM Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing comes into the picture. BAM researchers have been working on improving upon the high-power laser beam welding process in order to promote safer and more […]

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Fanny Littmarck | July 3, 2013

Aircraft rely on landing gear in order to taxi, take off, and land. The landing gear of your average commercial airplane consists of a shock-absorber cylinder and piston, and a pair of tires. Intuitively, the shock-absorber experiences stresses as the landing gear touches the ground — but how much? In order to design a landing gear mechanism that can withstand many landings, and to determine when it’s time to swap out an old one, we can perform a multibody dynamics […]

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Fanny Littmarck | June 21, 2013

I’ve written several blog entries involving permanent magnets, in one way or another. Reading those may have raised the question “what about a more simple introduction to permanent magnet simulations?” Fair enough, here’s how to model a permanent magnet and its surrounding magnetic field.

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Fanny Littmarck | June 3, 2013

Did your chemistry teacher use an orange or lemon to demonstrate the concept of a battery, back in the day? You might remember how she magically produced electricity by sticking a couple of metal nails into the citrus fruit, as the whole class watched in awe. What if we now used simulation tools to demonstrate how an orange battery works, and then use that as an intro to electrochemistry modeling?

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