In this piece Timmy Shum takes us on a journey of mathematical reflecting during Covid.
And if so, then after this erratic, transient behavior dissipates, would the falling leaf settle into its elegant, fluttery flight, oscillating from side to side while descending, much like in this simulation:
Drifting back into the present, I get an iced chai latte at Mud Cafe and sit outside on their rusty metal bench, since there’s no indoor dining allowed. The neighborhood feels like a ghost town, and a war zone. My face is draped in a colorful Batik face covering, bought from a local store which sells, exclusively, Indian cloth, made by a fourth-generation family owner, who studied engineering at MIT. Moments later, a thin, dirty napkin flies into the wind, in a tumbling motion, rotating and drifting away while descending, similar to this numerical solution:
I sip on my refreshing iced chai latte, as I wonder whether the barber shops will ever reopen. And as I ponder about my long, disheveled hairstyle, a small bird comes to view, gliding through the air, and it evokes thoughts of the moment when Prof. Ristroph and I first simulated a freely-falling wing that can glide stably in air, rather than flutter or tumble to the ground:
The intrinsic stability seemed interesting, with the wing’s glide angle remaining roughly constant, after initial, transient behavior:
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