Nishikawa Lab Spotlight: Kit Wilkinson

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Kit has been working in the lab for a little over two years. His focus right now is on the world of fluid dynamics. More specifically he works with understanding how frogs are capable of jumping out of the water. In a nutshell, the frogs back feet, while pushing downward in the water, create a vortex that gives an opposite force on the frog feet, pushing the feet (and the rest of the body) out of the water. This vortex more specifically classified as a toroidal vortex.  (check out this video for what this class of vortex look like).

To prove these exist, or course, one needs to see every water particle moving, which is extraordinarily difficult to do. So, Kit, under his own designs, has created a way to “see” the water move in these vortex patterns using particle Imagery velocimetry. The work’s implications include prosthesis locomotion designs (biomemetic/bioinformatics) in the commercial world, and of course a new way to study all sorts of fluid dynamics (not just frogs jumping), thanks to kit’s new design. The physics and computer programing are well beyond my understanding, but I encourage you to check out his website for yourself and watch for published papers within the year.

You can contact Kit here:

kcw52@nau.edu

Kit’s Website

-Anthony

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