Research

Impacting a Viscous Pool

Whenever a hollow cavity forms at the surface of a liquid, the cavity’s collapse generates a jet–a rising, high-speed column of liquid. The composite images above show snapshots of the process, from the moment of the cavity’s greatest depth to the peak of the jet. The top row of images shows water, and the bottom row contains a fluid 800 times more viscous than water. The added viscosity both smooths the geometry of the process and slows the jet down, yet strong similarities clearly remain. Focusing on similarities in fluid flows across a range of variables, like viscosity, is key to building mathematical models of fluid behavior. Once developed, these models can help predict behaviors for a wide range of flows without requiring extensive calculation or experimentation. (Image credit: E. Ghabache et al.)

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