Phenomena

The Kaye Effect

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The Kaye effect is particular to shear-thinning non-Newtonian fluids – that is, fluids with a viscosity that decreases under deformation. The video above includes high-speed footage of the phenomenon using shampoo. When drizzled, the viscous liquid forms a heap. The incoming jet causes a dimple in the heap, and the local viscosity in this dimple drops due to the shear caused by the incoming jet. Instead of merging with the heap, the jet slips off, creating a streamer that redirects the fluid. This streamer can rise as the dimple deepens, but, in this configuration, it is unstable. Eventually, it will strike the incoming jet and collapse. It’s possible to create a stable version of the Kaye effect by directing the streamer down an incline. (Video credit: S. Lee)

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