Splash Sheets

When a falling liquid jet hits a horizontal impacter, it is deflected into a sheet. The shape of the sheet is dependent upon the velocity of the jet and the viscosity of the fluid. At sufficiently high speeds the sheet will be circular; at lower speeds it may sag into a bell-shape. The circular sheets can also develop an instability that causes them to become polygonal, as shown in the photos above. The fluid then flows out along the sheet, into and along the rim, and then spouts outward in jets at the polygon’s corners. For some conditions, the jets at the corners even form a sort of fluid chain (top photo). (Photo credit: R. Buckingham and J. W. M. Bush; via 14-billion-years-later

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