Watch This: Knots Made of Water, Seen in 3-D

By Breanna Draxler | March 4, 2013 11:11 am

Reconstruction of the vortex core and flow field from raw 3D data. The rendered data correspond to a three-fold distorted loop (a), a trefoil knot (b) and a pair of linked rings (slightly after the first reconnection event (c). Image courtesy of Dustin Kleckner and William T. M. Irvine/Nature Physics

When air flows around the wing of an airplane, it creates vortices of swirling air. When that wing accelerates suddenly, two vortices form and circle in opposite directions. Sometimes these circles link with one another to create knots. Knots occur in nature and physicists have theorized for the last hundred years that they could be created in liquid, too. Physicists have now figured out a way to create them and have 3-D footage of the results, which were published in Nature Physics on Sunday.

The researchers used a 3-D printer to make cross-sections of tiny airplane wings. Then they put the wings in a tank of water that was electrically charged to have lots of tiny bubbles. The bubbles show movement in the tank. When the wing was pulled through the water, it created knots in its wake which were recorded in 3-D with a high-speed laser scanner.

Video courtesy Dustin Kleckner and William T. M. Irvine/Nature Physics

Music “Biology Slides” by Bleak House

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Physics & Math, Top Posts
  • Dr. Ajai Pratap Singh

    Something similar happens with CSF dynamics in the Conus medularis

  • Reese Houser

    YES to this one.
    For pretty much all the reasons you said. I think, if this one lives up to
    its premise, it’ll be insanely fantastic.

    http://www.brilliantpapers.com

NEW ON DISCOVER
OPEN
CITIZEN SCIENCE
ADVERTISEMENT

Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

80beats

80beats is DISCOVER's news aggregator, weaving together the choicest tidbits from the best articles covering the day's most compelling topics.
ADVERTISEMENT

See More

ADVERTISEMENT
Collapse bottom bar
+

Login to your Account

X
E-mail address:
Password:
Remember me
Forgot your password?
No problem. Click here to have it e-mailed to you.

Not Registered Yet?

Register now for FREE. Registration only takes a few minutes to complete. Register now »