Soap Film Visualization

Soap films provide a simple and convenient method for flow visualization. Here an allen wrench swept upward through a soap film leaves a distinctive wake. This trail of counter-rotating vortices is known as a von Karman vortex street. Their spacing depends on the wrench’s size and speed. Although the von Karman vortex street is usually associated with the wake of cylinders, it shows up often in nature as well, especially in the clouds trailing rocky islands. (Photo credit: P. Nathan)

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