Phenomena

Bouncing Off The Surface

For the right angles and flow rates, it’s possible to bounce a fluid jet off a pool of the same fluid. As the jet flows, it pulls a thin layer of air with it, entraining the air. This air film is what keeps the jet separate from the pool when it initially hits. In the photo above, the jet is flowing right to left; notice how it maintains its integrity within the dimple during the bounce. The pool’s surface tension acts almost like a trampoline, redirecting the jet’s momentum into the bounce. It’s even possible to get a double bounce. In this video, the mechanism is the same, although the apparatus is different. In the photo above, the jet is introduced with a horizontal velocity to induce air entrainment and bouncing. In the video, the pool is spinning, which provides the necessary horizontal velocity between the jet and the liquid pool. (Photo credit: J. Bomber and T. Lockhart)

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