Phenomena

Fingers of Clay

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Take a mixture of a viscous liquid – like clay mud – and squeeze it between two glass plates and you’ll create a mostly-round layer of liquid. As you pry the two glass plates apart, air will push its way into that layer, forcing through the mud in a dendritic pattern. This is called the Saffman-Taylor instability or viscous fingering. It occurs because the interface between the air and mud is unstable.  (Image and video credit: amàco et al.)

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