Ethan Lam ’23

Headshot of Ethan Lam

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Project Title

Rising Bubbles in Volcanic Chambers

Presentation Link

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I studied the applications of rising bubbles in volcanic chambers by modeling large viscous bubbles rising in a narrow tube. Physical factors such as viscosity, surface tension and bubble diameter affect both the rise velocity and the final bubble morphology. I performed simulations using Basilisk, an open-source software that solves partial differential equations using adaptive Cartesian meshes. I then produced videos of bubbles rising in different physical parameters and graphs from the simulation output, then used the data to compare how each physical factor affects both rise velocity and final bubble morphology. This experience gave me an introduction to independent research while sharpening my data analysis skills and coding knowledge. In addition, I learned more about fluid dynamics and a potential area of exploration in my major as a mechanical and aerospace engineering student. The experience and the connections I made during this internship will help me as I conduct further research during my undergraduate career.

Internship Year


Project Category

Climate and Environmental Science


Deike Lab, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Princeton University


Luc Deike, Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and the High Meadows Environmental Institute; Wouter Mostert, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering; Jiarong Wu, Ph.D. candidate, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering