Rainbow Paint on a Speaker

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Every year brings faster high-speed cameras and better quality imaging, so the Slow Mo Guys like to occasionally revisit topics they’ve done before, like paint vibrated on a speaker. The physics involved here are fantastic, so I’ll revisit the topic, too! In this version, Gav and Dan are using a pretty beefy speaker at a relatively high volume, so the paint gets a strong acceleration. As they note, the paint colors mix to brown almost immediately. In the high-speed footage, we can see why. 

Watch how the individual strands of paint behave. As they fly upward, they stretch out and get thinner. That stretching has a side effect: it makes the paint spin. This is angular momentum of the paint being conserved. Just like a spinning ice skater who pulls his arms in, the paint spins faster as it gets thinner. This provides a lot of the mixing. Just look at how the different colors twist together! (Image and video credit: The Slow Mo Guys)

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