Title

BUBBLES, DROPS AND STREAMS: A FLOW VISUALIZATOIN DEVICE FOR INFORMAL SCIENCE EDUCATION

Lead Author Affiliation

School of Engineering and Computer Science

Introduction

A flow visualization device that demonstrates dynamic interaction between two non-mixing fluids was developed for installation in the Library. The purpose is to provide the public with an interactive display that exemplifies the complexity and inherent beauty of fluid flows. In other words, the device serves as a tool for informal science education. It is a 30-inch circular thin enclosure made of clear Plexiglas, and filled with equal volumes of olive oil and air. There are partitions within the device that alter the oil-air interaction. While idle, the oil is at the bottom of the device and air is at the top. A turntable attached to the device allows a user to turn it 180 degrees to start the flow. A variety of fluid phenomena, such as bubble motion and meandering flow, can then be observed as oil and air interact with each other. It takes about two minutes for the oil to drain to the bottom and then the flow stops, making the device ready for another turn. In developing the final design, several smaller flow visualization devices were built to investigate geometrical and other parameters. Several of the smaller devices are on display during the Celebrate Research Day for participants to examine. The final device, shown below (general view and close-up), has been installed next to Information Commons at the main Library since March 2012. Positive comments have been made by students and administrators who have interacted with the device. The project (materials/supplies) was funded by a 2011 Scholarly/Artistic Activity Grant.

Location

DeRosa University Center, Stockton campus, University of the Pacific

Format

Poster Presentation

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BUBBLES, DROPS AND STREAMS: A FLOW VISUALIZATOIN DEVICE FOR INFORMAL SCIENCE EDUCATION

DeRosa University Center, Stockton campus, University of the Pacific

A flow visualization device that demonstrates dynamic interaction between two non-mixing fluids was developed for installation in the Library. The purpose is to provide the public with an interactive display that exemplifies the complexity and inherent beauty of fluid flows. In other words, the device serves as a tool for informal science education. It is a 30-inch circular thin enclosure made of clear Plexiglas, and filled with equal volumes of olive oil and air. There are partitions within the device that alter the oil-air interaction. While idle, the oil is at the bottom of the device and air is at the top. A turntable attached to the device allows a user to turn it 180 degrees to start the flow. A variety of fluid phenomena, such as bubble motion and meandering flow, can then be observed as oil and air interact with each other. It takes about two minutes for the oil to drain to the bottom and then the flow stops, making the device ready for another turn. In developing the final design, several smaller flow visualization devices were built to investigate geometrical and other parameters. Several of the smaller devices are on display during the Celebrate Research Day for participants to examine. The final device, shown below (general view and close-up), has been installed next to Information Commons at the main Library since March 2012. Positive comments have been made by students and administrators who have interacted with the device. The project (materials/supplies) was funded by a 2011 Scholarly/Artistic Activity Grant.