Background: I am a graduate of Cornell University, where I studied Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and designed and built composite acoustic guitars and a composite wing for a sailboat. For my PhD from Yale University I discovered how to observe the quantized vortex dynamics of turbulent liquid helium, work that I continued at the University of Maryland. As a group leader at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization in Göttingen, Germany, I led the effort to bring a new facility, the Variable Density Turbulence Tunnel, to life.
Research Interests: The BATL lab research centers on turbulence, both its intrinsic properties and its role in various environmental systems. In clouds, turbulence causes droplets to collide. In superfluid helium, it causes quantized vortices to reconnect. Left to itself, the turbulence slowly dissipates and disappears. We have contributed to making all of these phenomena accessible experimentally in part through the invention of new devices and techniques. Our interest is to provide the basis and inspiration for theoretical understanding through experimental observations made, for example, in soccer-ball cloud chambers and in wind tunnels. An emerging interest is the interaction between turbulence and animal flight.
Marco Viero and I designed and built the arch-top acoustic guitar on the left out of carbon fiber and balsa wood composites.
I designed and carved the electric cello on the right from Mahogany, Maple and Ebony woods.
I occasionally perform and record with singer-songwriter Naomi Sommers.