August 16, 2010 Issue

Physics To Go 103 - Splash-supersonic air jet

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Physics in Your World

High speed photography image
Image credit: Andrew Davidhazy; image source; Larger image

High speed photography

Look at the cavity behind the falling object that made this splash--you can learn how this cavity collapses if you check out From Physics Research.

- For more splash photos, see this page by Andrew Davidhazy, especially the splash sequence at the bottom.
- To learn about taking pictures that stop motion, see High speed photography.

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Physics at Home

Splash (fluid mechanics)

Investigate splashes by dropping different-sized objects into containers of water. Also, you can squeeze drops out of a medicine dropper to make splashes on hard surfaces or on water or milk. (Be sure to do this activity with an adult.) To find out what happens if you drop a half-brick into water, see the photograph at the bottom of Splash (fluid mechanics).


From Physics Research

Making a supersonic jet in your kitchen image
Image credit: American Physical Society; Image source; Larger Image

Making a supersonic jet in your kitchen

What exactly happens when an object makes a splash in water? The disk shown above was pulled into water in a reproducible way to investigate the splash.

- The results were surprising... including a supersonic jet of air!
- To learn more, see Making a supersonic jet in your kitchen, and don't miss the video of the splash.

Worth a Look

Physicists determine air gives liquids their splash

What happens when a droplet of liquid lands on a solid surface? What determines the way it splashes? How does what happens depends on the kind of gas and the pressure?

- To find out see Physicists determine air gives liquids their splash.
- And to learn how a raindrop splashes before it hits the ground, visit this New Scientist page.

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