Fuck Yeah Fluid Dynamics

Celebrating the physics of all that flows. Ask a question, submit a post idea or send an email. You can also follow FYFD on Twitter and Google+. FYFD is written by Nicole Sharp, PhD.

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Fluid flow near a surface—inside the boundary layer—can often be unstable. This image shows one possible instability, formed when a cylinder is rotated back and forth about its longitudinal axis. This oscillation and the curvature of the cylinder destabilize flow in the boundary layer, forming vortices that line the cylinder. This particular behavior is called a Görtler instability. To visualize it, threads soaked in fluorescing dye have been embedded into slits in the cylinder. The cylinder is oscillated in a water tank and ultraviolet light is used to fluoresce the dye for the image. (Photo credit: Miguel Canals/University of Hawaii)

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