Liquid Acrobatics

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Imagine blowing through a straw into a nearly empty glass–we probably all did this as children and sent water, milk, and soda flying everywhere! In essence, this video shows that same act, but filmed by a high-speed camera. The “straw” blows a steady stream of helium into a shallow pool of silicone oil and slowly moves so that the angle the straw makes with the pool changes. As the angle changes, different regimes are visible. First waves appear on the surface of the pool, then a bulge forms, which develops into a droplet stream, then on into the chaos of bubbles and jets. It’s good I couldn’t see this in slow motion as a child or I would have never used my straw for drinking!

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