Pollutant particles prefer to accumulate in specific regions in cities and form coherent structures, a team of researchers at the Arizona State University in Tempe found. The findings have been published recently in the American Institute of Physics.
Wenbo Tang from ASU said their discoveries were unexpected: “The unexpected finding is coherent patterns in fluid flows were thought to have no real analog in nature.”
He also mentions that the existence of these patterns had only been predicted theoretically in previous studies and wasn’t known whether these particle structures had been robust enough to actually materialize in real life.
The researchers even formulated a new mathematical theory that simulated the motion of pollutant particles in the long run in the environment. The simulations revealed that coherent patterns emerged from the random motions of particles carried along by the urban flow.
This discovery could help decision makers make maps of the most polluted spots in a city and optimize the quality of life in those areas.