Liquid Sculptures

[original media no longer available]

Water sculptures–a marriage of liquids, photography, and timing–are spectacular form of fluid dynamics as art. Artist Markus Reugels is a master of the form. This video captures the life and death of such water sculptures at 2,000 fps, beginning with the fall of the initial blue droplet. The droplet’s impact causes a rebounding Worthington jet, which reaches its pinnacle just as a second droplet strikes. The impact spreads into an umbrella-like skirt consisting of a thin, expanding liquid sheet with a thicker rim. The rim itself is unstable, breaking into regularly spaced filaments and tiny satellite droplets that shoot outward before the entire structure collapses into the pool. One especially cool aspect of watching this in video is seeing how the blue dye from each droplet spreads as the water splashes and rebounds. You can see the set-up Reugels uses for his photography here. (Video credit: M. Reugels and L. Lehner)

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