Chaos in Suspension

In science, the term chaotic is used to describe a system whose behavior is highly sensitive to initial conditions. This means that the end state can vary widely based on small changes at the start–also commonly known as the butterfly effect. Many fluid dynamical systems are chaotic, especially turbulent ones. Above are a series of photos showing the suspension of particles in a horizontally rotating cylinder. In parts A-D, the speed of rotation of the cylinder is increased, resulting in dispersion of the particles. As rotation rate is increased further, interesting concentration patterns form. #

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