Phenomena

Daily Fluids, Part 3

A lot of the fluid dynamics in our daily lives centers around the preparation and consumption of food. (And in its digestion afterward, but that’s another story!) Here are a few examples of fluid dynamics you might not have realized you’re an expert on:

Low Reynolds Number Flows
This is a fancy way of discussing the motion of syrup, honey, and other thick and viscous fluids we interact with in our lives. These flows are typically slow moving and exhibit some neat properties like coiling or being possible to unstir.

Immiscible Fluids
Oil and water don’t mix, a fact anyone familiar with salad dressings or marinades is well aware of. The way around this is to shake them up! This disperses droplets of the oil within the water (or vinegar or whatever) to create an emulsion. While not truly mixed, it does make for more pleasant eating.

Multiphase Flows
Multiphase flows are ones containing both liquid and gaseous states. Boiling is an example we often see in our daily lives, though carbonated beverages, water sprayers, and sneezes are other common ones.

Leidenfrost Effect
The Leidenfrost effect occurs when liquid is introduced to a surface that is much, much hotter than its boiling point. Part of the liquid instantly vaporizes, leaving droplets to skitter around on a thin vapor layer. This is most often seen around the stove and in skillets. (And, yes, it does qualify as a multiphase flow!)

Tune in all week for more examples of fluid dynamics in daily life. (Image credit: S. Reckinger et al., source)

P.S. – I’m at VidCon (@vidconblr) this year! If you are, too, come say hi and get an FYFD sticker 😀

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