Art

Upside-Down Umbrellas

When a heavier fluid is suspended over a lighter fluid (as with ink or food coloring in water), the interface between fluids is subject to the Rayleigh-Taylor instability. As the heavier fluid starts to sink, it forms “fingers”, which develop into mushroom-cap shapes as the fluid continues falling. Sometimes the shear stress between the heavier fluid and lighter fluid causes secondary Kelvin-Helmholtz instabilities as well. (Photo by Leonardo Aguiar)

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