Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



Reader 1

Rachel Levy

Reader 2

Andrew J. Bernoff

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Rights Information

© 2011 Jeffrey Wong


Thin liquid films driven by surface tension gradients are studied in diverse applications, including the spreading of a droplet and fluid flow in the lung. The nonlinear partial differential equations that govern thin films are difficult to solve analytically, and must be approached through numerical simulations. We describe the development of a numerical solver designed to solve a variety of thin film problems in two dimensions. Validation of the solver includes grid refinement studies and comparison to previous results for thin film problems. In addition, we apply the solver to a model of surfactant spreading and make comparisons with theoretical and experimental results.