Fascinating flows

Fascinating fluid mechanics

From: WebEcoist:


“A vortex can be seen in the spiraling motion of air or liquid around a center of rotation. Circular current of water of conflicting tides form vortex shapes. Turbulent flow makes many vortices. A good example of a vortex is the atmospheric phenomenon of a whirlwind or a tornado or dust devil. This whirling air mass mostly takes the form of a helix, column, or spiral. Tornadoes develop from severe thunderstorms, usually spawned from squall lines and supercell thunderstorms, though they sometimes happen as a result of a hurricane.”


Click to view larger image.
Gallery of Flow Visualization from the U. of Colorado

Absolutely amazing photos on Flickr:

waterfigure and objects by fotoopa.

Water figures

//www.engr.uky.edu/~jdjacob/fml/gallery/gallery/gridturbulence2.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Source: Gallery

Overturning Wave
Beautiful picture of breaking waves from Imperial College:

from http://www.flickr.com/photos/8720628@N04/595482265/
the photostream of Fractal Artist

From: http://blogist.wordpress.com/2008/02/13/smokin/


//www.dod.gov), Government of the United States of America (USA).

rusr7247.jpg |
AYVAZOVSKY Ivan | The Wave. | c.1889 | Russian | Romantic |
Oil on Canvas |
Russia. |
©Kathleen Cohen |

Your current search criteria is: Sea and Waterscapes

Click to view larger image.

Nigel Gorbold, Lok Kin Lee, Christopher McCray, Taylor Simonson, Melissa Talmage

A jet in crossflow
exhibits a shear instability. Visualized with dye in a flume.

More info

.Click to view larger image.

Lindsey Wohlman

Dense, falling droplets of food coloring form vortex rings due to the Rayliegh-Taylor instability.

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47 Photo project presents great “fluid” photos:

From Album of Flow Visualization, THTLab, the Uni. of Tokyo




When coffee meets milk


from Prof. T.T. Lim gallery [link]

notice the entrainment 🙂

from LiveScience

from the online version of the Van Dyke’s Album of Fluid Motion [my post has a link]


Tornado with satellite vortex.
from http://www.eng.vt.edu/fluids/msc/gallery/gall.htm

Classical tornado image compliments of Chuck Doswell

Cerebrospinal fluid

Cerebrospinal fluid, visualized in a laser light by fluorescent particles. Image is taken in IfU lab.

Jet in the cross-flow or simply the fountain on the lake of Geneve:


The physics of a tennis ball, watch the movies and see the wakes of spinning balls as compared to the non-spinning ones.

In addition to this post, the Art of Science competition also includes the beatiful visualization of:

Wake of a Pitching Plate
James Buchholz GS and Alexander Smits
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

These images contain top and side views of the wake produced by a rigid plate pitching about its leading edge in a uniform flow (flowing left to right). The leading edge of the plate is hinged to the trailing edge of a stationary symmetric airfoil. The wake is visualized using fluorescent dyes that are introduced through a series of holes on each side of the airfoil support. Twice in each flapping cycle, a horseshoe-shaped vortex is shed from the top, bottom, and trailing edges. The vortices become entangled to form the chain-like structure shown here. Studying such wakes is believed to be important for understanding the mechanisms of thrust production in fish-like swimming.

Karman street

Vortex streets, NASA

Tornado, Copyright (c) W.FaidleyTornado pictures:
an example from http://www.weatherstock.com/tornadocat3.html#TTT00

Filtered Luminosity photograph of bow shock detached to a Mars Pathfinder aero shell model, scaled down 1:25.6 and measured in X3 Expansion tube of the Centre for Hypersonics in the the University of Queensland. The flow properties : Mach 10, 8.1 km/s and the photo is made by one of our recent PyPIV/URAPIV users: Dwishen Ramanah (you can ask me for his contact e-mail).

Sand storm in Iraq (the source is here)

The “steam rings” are about 200m across from Etna (2000) see the original link on BBC
or look at the beautiful Stromboli online

From the Gallery of fluid motion on www.EFluids.com – tip vortex behind an airplane:

Beatiful photos of smoke by Graham Jeffery: Coloured smoke
one example:

Airsmoke group on Flickr.com


One more from Flickr (press on image to see the original one).

Off-axis Vortex Ring Collisions


4 Replies to “Fascinating flows”

  1. These really are beautiful flows Alex! I like fluid dynamics too much especially the numerical side with the nice colors. I believe that fluid dynamics is present everywhere in our life. Understanding the mechanisms of turbulent flow is considered as a challenging aspect of this discipline. I think that turbulent transport and particles in turbulence are one of the most important research areas dealing with turbulence.

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