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Airborne droplets dynamics

Droplets generated by expiratory events (sneeze, cough, speech, etc.) are the leading cause for Covid-19 infection. I developed a mathematical model to study the dynamics of such droplets, which vaporise as they travel in air. Using this model, I estimated the airborne lifetime of respiratory droplets at varying conditions, showing how an increase in the air relative humidity shortens their lifetime. Employing a simple stochastic model to represent indoor turbulence, I showed that even modest air velocity dramatically increases the probability for anomalously long lifetime, which can have a disproportionate effect on respiratory infection.

The Wellcome Trust grant funding I acquired allows me to conduct experiments to validate the theoretical findings. I collaborate with Prof. Khellil Sefiane from the School of Engineering at The University of Edinburgh to fabricate an experimental setup with which to gather statistics of droplet airborne lifetime.

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