Apps for Teaching Mathematical Modeling of Tubular Reactors
The Tubular Reactor application is a tool where students can model a nonideal tubular reactor, including radial and axial variations in temperature and composition, and investigate the impact of different operating conditions. It also exemplifies how teachers can build tailored interfaces for problems that challenge the students’ imagination. The model and exercise are originally described in Scott Fogler’s book Elements of Chemical Reaction Engineering. I wish I had access to this type of tool when I was a student!
Working with Imported CAD Designs
The CAD Import Module, Design Module, and the LiveLink™ products for CAD include tools for repairing and preparing a geometry for simulation. They are powerful additions to the geometric modeling capabilities of the COMSOL Multiphysics® software. Let’s discuss how these tools work and when to apply them.
A Brief Introduction to the Weak Form
This is an introduction to the weak form for those of us who didn’t grow up using finite element analysis and vector calculus in our daily lives, but are nevertheless interested in learning about the weak form, with the help of some physical intuition and basic calculus.
Modeling Thermally Induced Focal Shift in High-Powered Laser Systems
Almost all media absorb electromagnetic radiation to some extent. In high-powered laser focusing systems, a medium such as a glass lens may absorb enough energy from the laser to heat up significantly, resulting in thermal deformation and changing the material’s refractive index. These perturbations, in turn, can change the way the laser propagates. With the Ray Optics Module, it is possible to create a fully self-consistent model of laser propagation that includes thermal and structural effects.
Analyzing Aircraft Engine Noise Through Simulation
The reduction of aircraft engine noise has been a priority in the aviation industry for many years. Minimizing sound emissions, of course, requires an understanding of engine noise — a task that can become quite challenging due to the complex nature of aircraft systems and geometries. Using a model of an aero-engine duct, we provide a more in-depth look at the acoustical field in aircraft engines.
Introducing the Ray Optics Module
The release of COMSOL Multiphysics version 5.0 includes a new add-on module for electromagnetics modeling: the Ray Optics Module. This optional add-on module includes the Geometrical Optics interface, which can be used to model the propagation of electromagnetic waves when the wavelength is much smaller than the smallest geometric entity in the model. The Geometrical Optics interface includes a wide variety of features and optional settings and it is fully multiphysics capable.
Why Haven’t CPU Clock Speeds Increased in the Last Few Years?
The first computer I used was a real performance beast. Equipped with Intel’s 486 clocking in at 66 MHz, this machine was ready to take on whatever challenges the future would bring us. Or so I thought. The CPU clock speeds increased and soon passed 500 MHz, 1 GHz, and continued upwards. Around 2005, the top speed of the high-end processors settled around 4 GHz and hasn’t increased much since then. Why is that? I’ll explain.
Rosetta and Philae: A Historic Landing on a Comet
How the Sun, solar system, and planet Earth formed and how life began are fundamental science questions that still remain unanswered. Today, we may be one step closer to answering these questions, because the spacecraft Philae, which is aboard the Rosetta, is in the process of landing on a comet for the first time ever. I was able to interview two of the scientists involved in this project to gain insight into how Rosetta’s mission may answer these very questions.
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