Title

Visually Engaging Images with Fluid Dynamics

Poster Number

1

Lead Author Affiliation

Mechanical Engineering

Introduction

Fluid dynamics is a branch of physics that studies properties of fluids (liquids and gases) and how fluids interact with objects that they flow though or around. It has numerous applications in many diverse fields such as engineering and medicine to name just two. To study fluid dynamics, researchers often make use of flow visualization techniques, whereby a fluid flow is made visible to better understand it. Sometimes, flow visualization can be carried out in one’s kitchen sink, requiring only simple supplies.

Purpose

Here, three such activities are presented that can be used to demonstrate fluid phenomena and also to create aesthetically pleasing images (sample images shown).

Method

The first is a flow visualization device made of a sealed acrylic enclosure that contains dyed glycerin and air. When the enclosure is turned upside down, the heavier glycerin flows down and air bubbles flow up, demonstrating fluid instability. The second is a flow visualization process, which requires oobleck (mixture of corn starch and water) and food color. Drops of food color deposited on oobleck produce interaction between the two liquids of significantly different properties, demonstrating the effect of surface tension and the phenomenon of diffusion. The third is another flow visualization process in which patterns are created by depositing drops of paint on a surface and letting them run to desired locations by holding the surface at an angle. If repeated, this simple process generates complex patterns.

Results

The three activities will be exhibited during Research Day, complemented with hands on opportunity. Also, handouts will be available to allow participants to replicate the activities at their own kitchen sinks.

Significance

These readily available and inexpensive activities demonstrate scientific phenomena, create engaging images, and can be used as a vehicle for informal science education and public outreach.

Location

DeRosa University Center, Stockton campus, University of the Pacific

Format

Poster Presentation

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Apr 25th, 10:00 AM Apr 25th, 12:00 PM

Visually Engaging Images with Fluid Dynamics

DeRosa University Center, Stockton campus, University of the Pacific

Fluid dynamics is a branch of physics that studies properties of fluids (liquids and gases) and how fluids interact with objects that they flow though or around. It has numerous applications in many diverse fields such as engineering and medicine to name just two. To study fluid dynamics, researchers often make use of flow visualization techniques, whereby a fluid flow is made visible to better understand it. Sometimes, flow visualization can be carried out in one’s kitchen sink, requiring only simple supplies.