Research

Oil Chandeliers

What you see above is a composite of images of an oil droplet falling into alcohol from two different heights. The top row of images is from a height of 25 mm and the bottom from a height of 50 mm. The first droplet forms an expanding vortex ring which breaks down via the Rayleigh-Taylor instability due to its greater density than the surrounding alcohol. The second droplet impacts the alcohol with greater momentum and is initially deformed by viscous shear forces. Eventually it, too, breaks down by the Rayleigh-Taylor mechanism. This image is part of the 2010 Gallery of Fluid Motion. # (PDF)

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