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Scaling Laws of Passive-Scalar Diffusion in the Interstellar Medium and... links to pseudo- differential equations and levy flights

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Lisa Maria Kreusser.

This talk summarises a summer project I did at Caltech in the astrophysics department, but don’t worry – the talk will assume no knowledge of physics. I will discuss scaling laws for turbulent diffusion in the interstellar medium (the space between star systems) and why (astro)physicists care about such things. The main exploration is whether we can model such diffusion processes in the Fourier domain as a Levy flight (random walk in which the step-lengths have a heavy-tailed probability distribution). Can we measure some sort of ‘diffusion’ in the Fourier domain? I will test suggestive theoretical scalings with state of the art numerical simulations run on XSEDE (a big supercomputer) and some analysis in the Fourier domain. The evidence suggests one can measure such a diffusion and I will discuss the implications of this. The talk contains some Fourier analysis, numerical analysis and a pinch of probability.

This talk is part of the Cambridge Analysts' Knowledge Exchange series.

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