- The Liquid Rope Trick
- Scientific American
- Volume | Issue number
- 310 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Van der Waals-Zeeman Institute (WZI)
When dribbled onto a surface, viscous fluids such as honey coil into a helix and form what look like miniature baskets. Only recently have physicists systematically studied the process and its unexpected complexity.
Four distinct styles of coiling can occur depending on the balance of gravitational, frictional and inertial forces on the descending stream. Additional behaviors, such as folding, occur in less viscous fluids.
Strange phenomena such as spiral waves of bubbles and "sewing"—the latter occurs when the fluid stream and surface are in relative motion, as in Jackson Pollock's action painting—have yet to be explained fully.
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