Vortex Below

When a drop of ethanol lands on a pool of water, surface tension forces draw it into a fast-spreading film. Evenly-spaced plumes form at the edges of the film, then the film stops spreading and instead retracts. All of this takes place in about 0.6 seconds. But, as the image above shows, there’s more that goes on beneath the surface. A vortex ring forms and spreads under the film, driven by the shear layer under the edge of the plumes. Here, the vortex ring is visible in the swirling particles near the water surface. (Image and research credit: A. Pant and B. Puthenveettil)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.