Research

Wake of a Rising Sphere

This flow visualization shows the wake left by a freely rising sphere. Observations of rising and falling spheres date at least back to Newton, who observed that the inflated hog bladders he used “did not always fall straight down, but sometimes flew about and oscillated to and fro while falling”. That vibration is caused by the vortices seen here in the wake. There are actually four vortices shed per oscillation cycle–two primary vortices (marked P) and two secondary vortices (marked S). #

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