Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Podcast: Clapping Wet Hands

This week on the podcast I talk to Sunny Jung, a physicist in the Department of Engineering Science and Math at Virginia Tech. Jung's area of expertise is fluid dynamics: the study of liquids and other materials that flow. Jung is especially interested in the many wondrous ways fluid dynamics intersects with the lives of humans and animals (such as how cats lap up milk). His most recent work investigates a favorite pass-time of young children: clapping wet hands together. 

Jung and his colleagues wanted to explore how a thin sheet of fluid transforms into drops when the fluid is compressed between two flat surfaces. Here's a video from their experiment:
video

Listen to the podcast and learn how to maximize the radius of the fluid and number of drops in your own hand-clapping experiments; plus, I talk with Jung about potential applications for this new research.

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