Physics of poo: Why it takes you and an elephant the same amount of time

December 31, 1969 |

Somebody give David Hu's graduate and undergraduate students medals for bravery -- and maybe some hazmat suits. Hu, an associate professor in the School of Biological Sciences and an adjunct associate professor in the School of Physics, is a 2015 Ig Nobel Prize winner for his "urination duration" research, and he and his intrepid fluid dynamics team have also gotten hands-on (yuck) with frog saliva. Now he has studied the physics of poop among mammals, venturing to Zoo Atlanta to follow elephants around and figure out things like speed, duration, size, mucosity, etc. Hu, also an associate professor in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, makes the connection between his research and a better understanding of gastrointestinal health. The research also helped his team design state-of-the-art undergarments for astronauts. Hu's study was published April 25 in the journal (wait for it)....Soft Matter.