The Kaye Effect

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The Kaye effect is an instability particular to a falling stream of non-Newtonian fluids with shear-thinning properties. When these fluids are deformed, their viscosity decreases; this, for example, is why ketchup flows out of a bottle more easily once it’s moving. Like most fluids, the falling shampoo creates a heap on the surface. The Kaye effect is kicked off when the incoming jet creates enough shear on part of the heap that the local viscosity decreases, causing the streamer–or outgoing jet–to slip off the side of the heap. As the incoming jet continues, a dimple forms in the heap where the streamer originates. As the dimple deepens, the streamer will rise until it strikes the incoming jet. This perturbation to the system collapses the streamer and ends the Kaye effect. This video also has a good explanation of the physics, along with demonstrations of a stable form of the Kaye effect in which the streamer cascades down an incline. (Video credit: Minute Laboratory; inspired by infplusplus)

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