What Happens When We Sneeze: Self-Organised Simulations of Movement of Infectious Aerosols in Buildings
This material is a supplementary content video for a peer-reviewed journal article entitled “Experiments with Self-Organised Simulation of Movement of Infectious Aerosols in Buildings”, published in Sustainability Journal in June 2020, https://www.doi.org/10.3390/su12125204. It introduces simulations of movement of infectious aerosols generated by a sneeze. The simulations illustrate interactions of aerosols with still air, turbulent air, uniform air, as well as with ultraviolet radiation. They illustrate the issues related to airborne infection transmission and infection prevention. The self-organised aspect of the models introduced in this research is based on emergent behaviour in natural systems and the ways of replication of such behaviour in human-designed systems, such as simulation models. Traditional science has introduced a complicated approach for describing complex systems from the top-down, which leads to long simulation times of such systems, so that for instance, a flock of birds cannot be easily simulated using the top-down approach. As result of the application of the bottom-up approach in this research, the simulation model is able to run on a laptop, whilst other researchers developed equivalent top-down models that required a supercomputer to run on. The main contribution of this study is that it brings the simulation of the movement of infectious aerosols in buildings to a wider audience, without requiring specialist software or expensive supercomputer facilities. It is hoped that this work will raise the awareness of the issues related to airborne infection transmission and infection prevention in response to the 2020 pandemic, and that it will provide a platform for further research.
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