Student Profile: Alexander Nunn

Alexander Nunn

The University of Melbourne

Biography

Alexander Nunn is student at the University of Melbourne, completing an undergraduate degree in Physics and a Graduate Certificate in Applied Mathematics, he is now looking forward to undertaking a Masters in Applied Mathematics in 2017.

Intrigued by the beauty of the natural world Alexander is interested in new mathematical tools to understand phenomena and the structure of nature itself. The intersection of physics and mathematics providing a fertile environment for Alexander to both satisfy his curiosity and grapple with new problems.

Alexander hopes that the AMSI vacation scholarship program will be a stepping stone to more exciting and challenging opportunities to collaborate and explore.

Flapping of Leaves and Inverted Flags in a Steady Flow

Flags and tree leaves often flutter when exposed to a steady breeze. Recent measurements have explored the effect of reversing a cantilevered sheet’s orientation with the flow impinging on its free end. A rich array of dynamics is observed in these inverted-flags that are strikingly different to that of a normal flag.

This project will rigorously calculate the effect of sheet aspect ratio (length/height) on the stability of inverted-flags and the effects of surface proximity. This will provide insight into the different physical processes at play as a function of the inverted flag’s geometry. The outcomes have implications for leaf motion and other biological processes, such as the dynamics of hairs, because they also can present an inverted- flag configuration.

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