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Wave Optics, to Approximate or Not?

April 30, 2013

Engineers working with lasers, optical fibers and waveguides, nonlinear optical processes, metamaterials, and other large photonic devices ultimately deal with wave optics. Photonic devices are considered “large” when they are larger than a wavelength of light. In that case, you deal with optics frequencies as opposed to radio frequencies, and the device is not complex enough to justify approximating with rays.

IEEE Spectrum Puts the Spotlight on Multiphysics

April 29, 2013

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is doing some really cool things for its members. Chances are that you have attended their top rated conferences, downloaded papers from IEEE Xplore, or participated in one of many local chapter events. For electrical engineers like me, IEEE certainly is a rock to lean on for continued education and to connect with colleagues from around the world. Even if you are not a member you can tap into IEEE resources such […]

On Solvers: Benefits and Limits of Solution Methods

April 24, 2013

This week we have the honor of having Professor Wolfgang Joppich as a guest blogger. As you may know, COMSOL Multiphysics provides great default solvers for all applications. For the interested user, it is good to know that you can optionally tune or completely change the solver settings. We strongly recommend that you read this blog posting to get an experts’ perspective on the solver technologies offered by COMSOL. I am an avid reader of the COMSOL Blog and an […]

Step-Index Fiber Simulation

April 23, 2013

Optical fibers are used to transmit information in the form of light through an optical waveguide made of glass fibers. The light is sent in a series of pulses that can be translated as binary code, allowing the transfer of information through the fiber. Because such pulses can travel with less attenuation and are immune to electromagnetic disturbances, fibers are used instead of traditional metallic wires thus allowing data transmission over longer distances and at higher bandwidths.

Cooling Flange Performance Analysis

April 22, 2013

Chemical reaction fluids can be cooled using glass flanges. The reaction fluid is passed through the flange and the air surrounding the flange then serves as the coolant. Engineers looking to optimize the cooling performance of such flanges can look to simulation for help.

Digging into COMSOL’s Geomechanics Module

April 19, 2013

I will always remember a Geotechnical Engineering class I took during the pursuit of my Civil Engineering degree. It contained both the high and low points for that academic semester; the lab portion was a lot of fun, learning about (read: playing with) the different soils and clays existing in the state of Georgia. The final project, on the other hand, tasked us with designing a retaining wall to match certain specifications — a tough and lengthy assignment. A retaining […]

Why Model Electrochemical Applications?

April 18, 2013

It’s always been hard to place the field of electrochemistry into a more traditional engineering field. Departments and institutions that focus on electrochemical applications can be found within the faculties of Chemical Engineering, Physics, Materials Science, Physical Chemistry, and even Civil Engineering and Electrical Engineering. I believe this is because electrochemistry is heavily involved in applications that are quite varied — and in some ways quite new. Electrochemical applications need to be studied before they can be understood and optimized, […]

What Is Molecular Flow?

April 16, 2013

Vacuum is naturally associated with the hostile environment of deep space. To achieve such an environment in an artificial setting here on Earth is a very challenging task, and it turns out one cannot even come close to the low pressures of an interstellar vacuum. It is at these low pressures that molecular flow occurs.

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