Research Overview


The Bates Fluid Dynamics Group studies fluid and plasma dynamics using theoretical and computational tools. We are interested in problems related to Earth’s ocean and atmosphere, the confinement of plasmas in future fusion power generators, the Sun’s magnetic field, and Jupiter’s atmosphere. We take the physicist’s approach to these questions: how can we use simplified models of isolated processes to develop a robust, systematic understanding of the dynamics?

Much of the group’s efforts are focused on stability and control of shear flows, particularly as they apply to major environmental and clean energy problems: how can we better model the vertical transport of heat and pollutants in climate models? How can we describe and model the shear flows at the edges of practical fusion reactors?

These motivations lead us to what we call complicated fluid dynamics: problems involving turbulence, phase changes, magnetic fields, traditional “complex” non-Newtonian fluids, or some combination of them all. In order to tackle this menagerie of problems, we contribute to and use the Dedalus Project, a flexible framework for solving partial differential equations. Prof. Oishi is one of the founders and core developers of that framework and the other developers regularly visit and collaborate with our group.

A key goal of the group is to provide a diverse group of undergraduate researchers with solid training in fluid and plasma dynamics, computational science, and the applications of physics to a sustainable future.

If you’re a Bates undergrad interested in learning more, get in touch!


We are members of the Dedalus Project, along with

We benefit tremendously from our work with