In th early 20th century J.M. Burgers’ attempted to model fluid flow by adding a nonlinear term to the linear diffusion equation. The idea never panned out for modeling fluids, but the nonlinear diffusion equation, now known as Burgers’ Equation has been studied quite a bit nonetheless. More recently (1988, 1992, and 2002) a form of the Burgers’ Equation was derived for the twist dynamics of twisted scroll waves. Scroll waves are the 3D analog to spiral waves (think of a scrolled up piece of paper). Scrolls are found in many types of excitable media and a number of experts believe they play a role in cardiac arrhythmia.
Until this week there had not been good experimental evidence published for scroll wave twist behaving according to Burgers’ Equation. But now you can read all about in in Europhysics Letters, “Evidence for Burgers’ equation describing the untwisting of scroll rings” (volume 83, article number 30010).
Oh, and I’m still waiting to hear about Entropy Maximization from one of my esteemed colleagues in blogging. And is each of us publishing in a journal on the other ones current continent of residence something Alanis Morisette would call “ironic”?