In either the inviscid limit of the Euler equations, or the viscously dominated limit of the Stokes equations, the determination of fluid flows can be reduced to solving singular integral equations on immersed structures and bounding surfaces. Further dimensional reduction is achieved using asymptotics when these structures are sheets or slender fibers. These reductions in dimension, and the convolutional second-kind structure of the integral equations, allows for very efficient and accurate simulations of complex fluid-structure interaction problems using solvers based on the Fast Multipole or related methods. These representations also give a natural setting for developing implicit time-stepping methods for the stiff dynamics of elastic structures moving in fluids. I’ll discuss these integral formulations, their numerical treatment, and application to simulating structures moving in high-speed flows (flapping flags and flyers), and for resolving the complex interactions of many, possibly flexible, bodies moving in microscopic biological flows.

Part of the 2015 AMSI-ANZIAM Lecture Tour