Dr Ganesh Balasubramanian 'Bottoms-up and multiscale strategies to understand the role of nanoscale phenomena for transport processes and materials behaviour'
Date: Fri 30 Mar 2012, 14:00 - 15:00
Location: SEMS Seminar Room
Dr Ganesh Balasubramanian, Theoretical Physical Chemistry, Technische Universitat Darmstadt
Research in nanotechnology has grown leaps and bounds over the last decade, and with that questions have emerged about suitably employing the knowledge gained from scientific explorations at the atomistic scale to the utilization of humankind. Unlike the age-old tradition of trying to improve things top-down, and in turn squandering useful resources like for example Michelangelo did when chipping away the pieces of a rock to carve a beautiful sculpture, a bottoms-up approach involves assimilating the salient details at the nanoscale and implementing them for a cohesive benefit at the continuum. It might not be necessary to explicitly integrate scientific computations at different scales of length and time with each other, but definitely learning the mechanism from the fundamentals to the bulk, for instance, how molecules of water can coalesce to form a stable droplet, can have path-breaking insinuations towards solving several scientific and engineering challenges currently facing us. We shall see how different approaches to multiscale modelling can offer useful solutions to understanding nanoscale phenomena and comprehending their contribution at the micro/macroscopic level. We shall specifically look at thermal transport in potential thermoelectrics, heat transfer across material interfaces, strategies for energy storage in salt hydrates, rheological behaviour of nanoparticle suspensions and the extensibility of insect proteins. The presentation will also include our experiences from a novel pedagogical practice for teaching nanotechnology to undergraduates.