Abstract: Knowledge of microscopic geomorphic structures is critical to understanding transport processes in porous building materials. X-ray scans were obtained of a variety of commonly used porous building materials to both qualitatively and quantitatively evaluate their pore structures. The specimens included natural materials (two sandstones and a limestone) and engineered materials (three types of concretes and a brick). Scanned images were processed to reconstruct the geomorphic structures of these materials. Random walk analyses were performed on the reconstructed pore structures to estimate macroscopic transport properties (including tortuosity, specific surface, and permeability). The effective porosity and permeability of these materials were also experimentally determined and compared to computed values. Calibration of the threshold pixel value used in the postprocessing of X-ray images against measured effective porosity appears to be a more appropriate method of selecting this value than the typical approach, which employs selection based solely on observed histograms. The resulting permeabilities computed by using a calibrated threshold pixel value compare better with the measured permeabilities. This study also demonstrates that the relatively homogeneous and heterogeneous pore structures associated with the natural and engineered building materials under investigation can be captured by X-ray tomography. (C) 2013 American Society of Civil Engineers.
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Bongard's work focuses on understanding the general nature of cognition, regardless of whether it is found in humans, animals or robots. This unique approach focuses on the role that morphology and evolution plays in cognition. Addressing these questions has taken him into the fields of biology, psychology, engineering and computer science.
Danforth is an applied mathematician interested in modeling a variety of physical, biological, and social phenomenon. He has applied principles of chaos theory to improve weather forecasts as a member of the Mathematics and Climate Research Network, and developed a real-time remote sensor of global happiness using messages from Twitter: the Hedonometer. Danforth co-runs the Computational Story Lab with Peter Dodds, and helps run UVM's reading group on complexity.
Laurent studies the interaction of structure and dynamics. His research involves network theory, statistical physics and nonlinear dynamics along with their applications in epidemiology, ecology, biology, and sociology. Recent projects include comparing complex networks of different nature, the coevolution of human behavior and infectious diseases, understanding the role of forest shape in determining stability of tropical forests, as well as the impact of echo chambers in political discussions.
Hines' work broadly focuses on finding ways to make electric energy more reliable, more affordable, with less environmental impact. Particular topics of interest include understanding the mechanisms by which small problems in the power grid become large blackouts, identifying and mitigating the stresses caused by large amounts of electric vehicle charging, and quantifying the impact of high penetrations of wind/solar on electricity systems.
Bagrow's interests include: Complex Networks (community detection, social modeling and human dynamics, statistical phenomena, graph similarity and isomorphism), Statistical Physics (non-equilibrium methods, phase transitions, percolation, interacting particle systems, spin glasses), and Optimization(glassy techniques such as simulated/quantum annealing, (non-gradient) minimization of noisy objective functions).