Granular Fingers

Fingers form as a particle-filled fluid is injected between plates.

Finger-like shapes often form on fluids injected between glass plates, but what happens when that injected fluid contains particles? That’s the situation in this recent study, where researchers sandwiched a fluid between two glass plates and then injected a second, similar fluid laced with particles.

Despite the differences from the traditional Saffman-Taylor set-up, the granular-filled fluid still forms fingers as long as there’s even a slight density difference between the original and injected fluids. It doesn’t even matter which of the two fluids has the greater density! (Image and research credit: A. Kudrolli et al.)

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