SmarterEveryDay’s Destin, posted an interesting video that I thought all you Math buffs out there might enjoy as a Science Saturday post.
It’s all about the science behind the “Liquid Rope Coil Effect”. This is most noticeable when you pour honey on your toast, or shampoo in the shower, but I had no idea that the math’s behind something so simple was so complex. So complex in fact that they haven’t figured out al the equations regarding coiling honey 🙂
The rope coil effect has to do with the viscosity of a liquid or fluid, and the pronouncement of the effect is determined a great deal by Gravity’s impact on the liquid as it falls. There are four types of flow that scientists have figured out the math for. The rope coil effect is a result of the Gravitational Regime condition, when there is enough height pulling on the viscous fluid, and enough momentum from the spinning frequency, to give it the appearance of rope coiling on itself. Who knew honey could be so mathematically complex!
The Leidenfrost Effect has nothing to do with frost or the Dutch city of Leiden. Rather, it’s named after a German physicist, Johann Gottlob Leidenfrost, who published a scientific paper on the phenomenon back in 1756.
You can witness it for yourself, if you sprinkle water onto a really hot frying pan or the rings of an electric cooking hob. That moment when the hob gets really hot and water droplets go whizzing off as if on a cushion of air is the Leidenfrost effect in its simplest manifestation.
It usually occurs when the surface temperature that the water droplets touch is greater than 200C. Past the Leidenfrost point, the bottom surface of the water droplet turns to vapour so quickly that it creates a little insulating pocket under the drop. Pressure from the vapour keeps the droplet aloft, like a tiny little hovercraft.
As it scoots around on the heated surface, molecules of water keep turning into vapour from the underside of the droplet, in a process known as film boiling. But the part of the Leidenfrost effect that’s the most interesting to scientists is how the droplets move.
With so little friction between the liquid and the surface, even slight disturbances in the vapour pockets – caused by escaping molecules of gas – are enough to send the droplets ricocheting all over the place. And the bigger the droplet, the less stable its vapour cushion is, so the more it moves around.
It’s speed, if controllable, could be used in various different applications, from pharmaceuticals to ink-jet printing. That being said, the temperatures required for are so high that it could prove hazardous and costly in terms of heat generation.
This week’s Science Saturday is all about power. No, not the type that Russian dictators crave, but the stuff that the dying battery on your mobile phone craves. This is a weird take on hydroelectricity known as Lord Kelvin’s Rainstorm, and discovered by the great man over a hundred years ago.
The bit I like the most is seeing how the charged water droplets are attracted to the sides of the tubes as they fall, and then as soon as the spark is released they move back to the centre of the twisting tubes.
Have a look at the video and always keep learning.
My favourite physicist of all time, Michio Kaku, takes you on a brief but enjoyable journey which explains the fundamentals of the Universe and touches briefly on String Theory, Dark Matter and the future of Physics.
Sphenopalatine Ganglioneuralgia, or brain freeze to you and me, is a real phenomenon, can be sometimes painful and is a physiological condition acknowledged by the medical community, hence the really long word in the beginning.
But what causes brain freeze. And is there something we can do to avoid it? Well, Hank from SciShow has all the answers.
Interestingly, the causes and effects of brain freeze are useful to scientists as the pain felt in your head is actually not where the pain has originated from – which is actually near the roof of your mouth. It’s a useful study to scientists because the crossed wires in the brain (the fact the pain is felt in an area away from where the cause of the pain originates) could help them understand and treat other types of nerve pain, particularly migraines.
So next time you’re enjoying your ice cream or gelato, enjoy the fact that you now know where your bout of brain freeze has originated from and how to combat it.
I’ve neglected Science Saturday for a while, partly because of the summer holidays, partly because I didn’t find anything interesting in a while and partly because I was too damn lazy. But I thought what better after a summer hiatus than to bring it back with a bang.
Beans, beans, they’re good for your heart. The more you eat, the more you fart. The more you fart, the better you feel. So let’s eat beans with every meal.
My brother and I would sing this with delight whenever we had one of our favourite comfort foods, beans on toast.
Herself, who has never had beans on toast and, who quite frankly, hails from a country with a much better culinary heritage than my own beautiful Emerald Isle, also didn’t get the whole beans on toast thing. Especially when I informed her of the downside to this delicious yet simple teatime staple of the Irish diet.
So I was only too happy when I saw this short but informative clip from Mens Health which explains how bean consumption can have some silent, but deadly consequences.
Keep on tooting 🙂