FLUID DYNAMIC EXPERIMENTS

Currently in the process of capturing these visual acts of physics

for the giant screen and IMAX® theaters.

 

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Alka Seltza in Micro-Gravity

Alka Seltza in Micro-Gravity

NASA astronaut Don Petit performs a simple micro-gravity experiment using Alka Seltzer aboard the International Space Station. This experiment could be duplicated on a suborbital flight. One possible variation on the experiment might use dry ice instead of Alka Seltzer as a carbon dioxide source.

Small Scale "Bubble Hurricane"

Small Scale "Bubble Hurricane"

Soap bubbles make a pretty good stand-in for hurricanes. It might surprise you that such a delicate and fragile structure might analogize one of the most powerful and destructive events on the Earth’s surface, but sometimes in science scale isn’t a problem. It doesn’t matter if it’s small or big, the interacting forces are what matter.

Collapsing Bubble = Micro Big Bang??

Collapsing Bubble = Micro Big Bang??

The process of Cavitation. The bubble’s collapse generates a shock wave that propagates outward from the bubble site. Can generate extremely high temperatures and even trigger luminescence.

Sono-Luminescence "Star in a Jar"

Sono-Luminescence "Star in a Jar"

Light created from sound. A sound wave passing through a fluid can create a bubble that pulsates so strongly that it becomes a dense plasma that emits flashes of light only trillionths of a second long. Can a similar multi-scale system someday be used as a fusion reactor?

Flame in Micro-Gravity

Flame in Micro-Gravity

When ignited, the fuel droplet creates a blue spherical shell of flame. The spherical shape is typical of flames in micro-gravity. On Earth, flames are shaped like teardrops due to the effects of buoyancy, which exists only in a gravitational field. Fires are a major hazard in microgravity, where oxygen supplies are limited and evacuating is not always an option. Scientists hope that experiments like this will shed light on how fires spread and can be fought aboard spacecraft.

Wingtip Vortices

Wingtip Vortices

Newton’s third law says that forces come in equal and opposite pairs. This means that when air exerts lift on an airplane, the airplane also exerts a downward force on the air. Same principles to the cloud bands on Jupiter and the swirls and vortices that result in it's beautiful appearance. Fluid dynamics are truly everywhere.