Vortex ring impacts are eternally fascinating. Here, researchers explore what happens when a vortex ring encounters a V-shaped wall. Because the outer portions of the vortex ring hit the wall sooner than the inner ones, distortions begin there first.
The vortex’s approach creates a pressure gradient that causes flow near the wall to separate, generating that first little hook in each arm of the vortex. Next, secondary vortices develop on either side and quickly get pulled into the original vortex. The whole process repeats a second time to generate tertiary vortices that continue the inward spiral. The impact appears even more complicated when viewed from the side of the valley (Image 2). Check out Image 3 for a point-by-point breakdown of the impact process. (Image and research credit: T. New et al.)