Research

Catastrophic Cracking from Cavitation

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At your next party, you can break the bottom of a glass bottle with the palm of your hand and the power of fluid dynamics.  As shown in the video above, striking the mouth of the bottle accelerates fluid at the bottom, lowering the local pressure below the vapor pressure and causing the formation of cavitation bubbles. When these bubbles collapse, they form very high temperatures and pressures for an instant, and it is this which can break the glass. (Video credit: J. Daily et al., BYU Splash Lab)

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