Effects of Viscosity

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Today’s video demonstrates the effect of viscosity, which measures a fluid’s resistance to deformation. On the left is a column of highly viscous fluid; the fluids become less viscous as one moves right. When a jet of dye is released into the highly viscous fluid, the jet is very slow to penetrate, whereas, in the rightmost column, the dye expands quickly into a turbulent jet. Between these extremes, we see a laminar dye jet entering the liquid. The mushroom-like shape the laminar jet takes is the result of the Rayleigh-Taylor instability, which occurs when a denser fluid is on top of a lighter fluid in a gravitational field.

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