My research project
Dispersive Shock Waves in colloidal media
When a light beam passes through a colloidal medium there is an interaction between them that causes colloidal particles of higher (lower) refractive index than the background media to move towards regions of higher (lower) light intensity, ultimately producing a focussed optical wave. The equations governing these mechanisms have no exact solutions and hence approximate solutions must be developed using sophisticated mathematical techniques. This comprises the first phase of the project. A type of solution in both scenarios is a so-called Dispersive Shock Wave (DSW), motivating the second phase of the project - to discover previously unknown properties of DSWs, common examples of DSWs being tidal bores and tsunamis. The theory developed in the pursuit of these properties is expected to have implications in a wide range of applications.