Friday, April 7

Leaping liquids, Batman!

You can make streams of shampoo bounce in arcs down a slope if you pour it just right, physicists have shown. Their experiments with pouring various liquids like shampoo into a big pile, bouncing it down slopes and off soap films, have shed light on a phenomenon that, though noticed decades ago, has been little-studied.

Here's a video of the shampoo bouncing down a slope. Link.

Here's a video of a really strange behavior: pouring shampoo into a large pile of the liquid, a bit of the shampoo bunches up in a little mound on the surface. But then it suddenly bursts forth with a jet, like silly string, that squirts and flails and then finally loses its energy. Link.

The effect should work with other liquids, like ketchup, paint, and yogurt. I wonder what other phenomena people can create by pouring household items all over the place. Don't let your kids read this! But you can read more in Philip Ball's news article, "Puzzle of leaping liquid solved."


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