Fluid Dynamics: Watch As 'Mixed' Color Drops Come Back Together Right Before Your Eyes

June 14, 2011


This is video of a science experiment demonstrating laminar flow (not to be confused with heavy flow, which may warrant a super-max tampon). Since I suck at fluid dynamics to the point of hosing my legs every time I take a piss (even sitting!), here's a copy/pasted explanation of WTF's going on.

...a fluid with a sufficiently low Reynolds number will flow along distinct paths in parallel layers (like fanning a deck of cards), thereby preventing disruption of the fluid. What is the Reynolds number, you ask?

The Reynolds number, R, is the dimensionless combination:


in which ρ is the density, ν the speed of the fluid, R the size of the flow, and η the viscosity.

Translation? The fluid, despite appearances, will NOT blend (at least not in the way we're used to seeing fluids blend), and can be returned to its initial state by simply reversing the direction of mixing, as demonstrated by the colored droplets which return to their initial states.

So like, could I use this to descramble the nudie cable channels or what? No? Well will it help me learn how to do the most damage to a urinal puck with my pee stream? No? Just more 'science' for the Insane Clown Posse to rap about? F***in' toilet flushes -- how do they work?

Hit the jump for a video of the sorcery.

This is the coolest science experiment you'll see all week [io9]

Thanks to Dr. Doeslittle, who spends as much of the day asleep under a lab table as possible.

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