Fireball in Slow Motion

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The high-speed video above shows an atomized spray of flammable liquid being ignited using a lighter.  It was filmed at 10,000 fps and is replayed at 30 fps. Although uncontained, this demonstration is similar to the combustion observed inside of many types of engines.  Automobiles, jet engines, and rockets all break their liquid fuel into a spray of droplets to increase the efficiency of combustion.  The turbulence of the flames dances and swirls, with small-scale motions close to the sprayed droplets and larger-scale motions around the vaporized fuel. This variation in size of the scales of motion is a hallmark feature of turbulence and can be used to characterize a flow.

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