Swinging Jets

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In the tiny realm of microfluidics, flows are, in general, completely laminar. That makes mixing a challenge. But it turns out that pumping water steadily into multiple inlets can spontaneously generate oscillations between the jets, allowing dramatic mixing even at low Reynolds numbers. Two inlets in a parallel channel (first image) oscillate steadily over a small range of conditions, but widening the channels (second image) allows the jets to switch back and forth over a larger range. And adding additional inlets (third image) can create even more complex fluid oscillators! (Image, video, and research credit: A. Bertsch et al.)

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