It’s a big fluids round-up today, so let’s get right to it.
- Over at txchnologist, there’s a great article on controlling combustion instabilities in rocket engines with sound.
- Quanta Magazine asks if knot theory can help unravel turbulence. (submitted by iamaponyrocket)
- SciAm takes a look at how FIFA finally got their aerodynamics right so that their video game football (soccer) balls fly correctly.
- The Smithsonian considers an important question: can you fry foods in space?
- The Navy unveiled a fantastic new facility for simulating ocean waves (via J. Ouellette)
- At SciAm, there’s a nice explanation of the polar vortex and its effects on recent freezing weather. For additional background, check out this excerpt from a presentation by meteorology professor Jennifer Francis. (via Nicholas Travers)
- Cold weather also brings a host of new viral videos; NatGeo explains some of the science behind instant snow, ice fog, and frozen bubbles. See also: our own explanation of the instant snow phenomenon.
- io9 looks at the physics of knuckleballs.
- Over at Wired, Rhett Allain questions whether dwarves should stand in floating barrels. Also on the subject of The Hobbit, here’s an analysis of fire-breathing in dragons.
- At SciAm, Kyle Hill explains how inertia lets one pour a drink toward the sky.
- SciAm reports on a manufacturing process for superhydrophobic paper.
- I don’t know what banking has to do with a pool of non-Newtonian fluids, but this Malaysian ad sure makes it look fun. (via physicsphysics and jmlinhart)
- Wired has a great write-up on the mantis shrimp, which kills its prey with cavitation.
- io9 tackles explaining one of the most vexing brain teasers in fluid dynamics, the Feynman sprinkler.
- Finally, today’s lead image comes from our friends at Think Elephants, who study elephant intelligence over in Thailand and occasionally capture the animals’ mastery of fluid dynamics. Be sure to check them out and follow them on Twitter and Facebook.
(Photo credit: Think Elephants International/R. Shoer)