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2015 News in Brief



Lydia Bourouiba’s and the mechanics of rain splatter

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Photo: Lydia

The connection between rain and contagion has long been a point of interest for scientists, including fluid dynamics expert and CEE professor Lydia Bourouiba. In 2014, she coauthored a study that employed high-speed videography to demonstrate the path of pathogens after projection by sneezes or coughs. She later used this same technique, as well as combined experimental and theoretical approaches, to elucidate the mechanisms of rain-induced pathogen transport between leaves – particularly the role of their surface and compliance in shaping the fluid dynamic processes at play. According to a profile on Bourouiba’s work published in Nautilus, the images and accompanying physics created by her and her team subsequently revealed, in depth, the mechanisms of rain splatter and ultimately can assist in the control of crop epidemics. For the article, please see here.