Research

Shedding Vortices

The von Karman vortex street of shed vortices that form the wake of a stationary cylinder are a classic image of fluid dynamics. Here we see a very different wake structure, also made up of vortices shed from a cylindrical body.  This wake is formed by two identical cylinders, each rotating at the same rotational rate. Their directions of rotation are such that the cylinder surfaces in between the two cylinders move opposite the flow direction (i.e. top cylinder clockwise, bottom anti-clockwise). This results in a symmetric wake, but the symmetry can easily be broken by shifting the rotation rates out of phase. (Photo credit: S. Kumar and B. Gonzalez)

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