Honey Coiling

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The liquid rope coiling effect occurs in viscous fluids like oil, honey, shampoo, or even lava when they fall from a height. The exact behavior of the coil depends on factors like the fluid viscosity, the height from which the fluid falls, the mass flow rate, and the radius of the falling jet. Here Destin of the Smarter Every Day series outlines the four regimes of liquid coiling behavior commonly observed. As with many problems in fluid dynamics the regimes are described in terms of limits, which can help simplify the mathematics.  The viscous regime (2:34 in the video) exists in the limit of a small drop height, whereas the inertial regime (3:15) exists in the limit of large drop height. Many complicated physical problems, including those with nonlinear dynamics, are treated in this fashion. For more on the mathematics of the coiling effect, check out Ribe 2004 and Ribe et al. 2006. (Video credit: Destin/Smarter Every Day; submitted by inigox5)

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