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A mechanism by which smooth initial conditions evolve towards a topological reconfiguration of fluid interfaces is studied in the context of Darcy's law. In the case of thin fluid layers, nonlinear PDEs for the local thickness are derived from an asymptotic limit of the vortex sheet representation. A particular example considered is the Rayleigh–Taylor… (More)

Groups of beating flagella or cilia often synchronize so that neighboring filaments have identical frequencies and phases. A prime example is provided by the unicellular biflagellate Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, which typically displays synchronous in-phase beating in a low-Reynolds number version of breaststroke swimming. We report the discovery that ptx1, a… (More)

Recent work ͓Phys. Fluids 10, 2701 ͑1998͔͒ has shown that for Hele-Shaw flows sufficiently near a finite-time pinching singularity, there is a breakdown of the leading-order solutions perturbative in a small parameter ⑀ controlling the large-scale dynamics. To elucidate the nature of this breakdown we study the structure of these solutions at higher order.… (More)

We describe the first analytically tractable example of an instability of a nonorientable minimal surface under parametric variation of its boundary. A one-parameter family of incomplete Meeks Möbius surfaces is defined and shown to exhibit an instability threshold as the bounding curve is opened up from a double-covering of the circle. Numerical and… (More)

From algal suspensions to magma upwellings, one finds jets which exhibit complex symmetry-breaking instabilities as they are decelerated by their surroundings. We consider here a model system--a saline jet descending through a salinity gradient--which produces dynamics unlike those of standard momentum jets or plumes. The jet coils like a corkscrew within a… (More)

A variety of physical and biological systems exhibit dynamical behaviour that has some explicit or implicit topological features. Here, the term 'topological' is meant to convey the idea of structures, e.g. physical knots, links or braids, that have some measure of invariance under continuous deformation. Dynamical evolution is then subject to the… (More)

It is now well established that nearby beating pairs of eukaryotic flagella or cilia typically synchronize in phase. A substantial body of evidence supports the hypothesis that hydrodynamic coupling between the active filaments, combined with waveform compliance, provides a robust mechanism for synchrony. This elastohydrodynamic mechanism has been… (More)

We show that highly twisted minimal strips can undergo a nonsingular transition, unlike the singular transitions seen in the Möbius strip and the catenoid. If the strip is nonorientable, this transition is topologically frustrated, and the resulting surface contains a helicoidal defect. Through a controlled analytic approximation, the system can be mapped… (More)

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