Justin Jaworski, an associate professor of mechanical engineering and mechanics, was a guest on a recent episode of the Physics World Weekly podcast to discuss the "silence of owls" from an engineering perspective.

According to the episode description:

"Owls mostly hunt at night when background noise levels can be low and potential prey have a better chance of hearing danger approaching. As a result, the birds have evolved structures on their wings that greatly reduce the noise owls make while flying. In this episode of the Physics World Weekly podcast, the engineer and owl expert Justin Jaworski talks about the aerodynamics of these wonderful creatures."

In the podcast, Jaworski explains: "The noise that owls don't make is what's called aerodynamic noise. I look at the structure of owl feathers and how they pertain to what we know about aerodynamic noise research and mechanisms for reducing noise. What I've done is look at mathematical models as a way to show how certain types of changes to the wing might reduce noise."

Jaworski was recently elected as an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics for "seminal and innovative contributions to the modeling of flow-induced noise generation and flow-structure interaction with broad application to aeronautical and biological configurations." 

Listen to the podcast on the Physics World website

Justin Jaworski

Justin W. Jaworski, associate professor, mechanical engineering and mechanics