Skip to main content

Stunning Visuals From 2015's Fluid Dynamics Meeting

Every year, the American Physical Society’s Division of Fluid Dynamics publishes the Gallery of Fluid Motion, a repository of the most striking, awe-inspiring, and illuminating experiments presented at the annual meeting. This year’s submissions are just as spectacular as ever, showcasing everything from a water droplet being blown apart by a laser pulse to new ways of controlling the rainbow patterns on soap films.
A rotor blade, like that of a helicopter, creates vortices
that are ordinarily invisible.
Image Credit: Giuni, et. al. CC BY-NC 4.0
Many of these short films and infographics are as much art as science, highlighting the beauty and unfathomable complexity of the world around us, often just beyond our perception—too fast, or small, or transparent to be seen without microscopes and tracer particles. While we could write a post exploring each of these award-winners individually, most of them are explained succinctly within the image or video, providing scientists and enthusiasts alike with a deeper understanding of what's happening and why it happens. 

Such visually-appealing and eminently shareable science is doubly valuable; the more people know about an idea like the fluidic oscillator shown below, the more useful applications it's likely to find—for example, it could help someone develop a sprinkler system that relies on fluidics to function without moving parts, making it less likely to break.
Image Credit: Sieber, et. al. CC BY-NC 4.0

The most wonderful thing about the gallery is that, even if you don't quite understand what a Lyapunov exponent is, you're still learning physics when you watch these videos, and in one of the most engaging ways possible. What's more, the physics of fluids often parallels other, less intuitively-friendly systems, like electric charge or wavelike particles, providing conceptual touchstones to help us grasp things that might otherwise be beyond our reach. By coming to a better understanding of how a fluid behaves, you're coming to a better understanding of the universe overall, learning something about the whole by observing a small part of it. Enjoy the gallery, and don't forget to share it with your friends!

Comments

  1. ART, SCIENCE and Mathematics (geometry)are all ONE language

    ReplyDelete
  2. You're blowing my mind Herb.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular Posts

How 4,000 Physicists Gave a Vegas Casino its Worst Week Ever

What happens when several thousand distinguished physicists, researchers, and students descend on the nation’s gambling capital for a conference? The answer is "a bad week for the casino"—but you'd never guess why.

Ask a Physicist: Phone Flash Sharpie Shock!

Lexie and Xavier, from Orlando, FL want to know:
"What's going on in this video? Our science teacher claims that the pain comes from a small electrical shock, but we believe that this is due to the absorption of light. Please help us resolve this dispute!"

The Science of Ice Cream: Part One

Even though it's been a warm couple of months already, it's officially summer. A delicious, science-filled way to beat the heat? Making homemade ice cream.

(We've since updated this article to include the science behind vegan ice cream. To learn more about ice cream science, check out The Science of Ice Cream, Redux)

Over at Physics@Home there's an easy recipe for homemade ice cream. But what kind of milk should you use to make ice cream? And do you really need to chill the ice cream base before making it? Why do ice cream recipes always call for salt on ice?