Oily Loch Ness

Since I’ve started working at Science News, I have been too busy writing to find time to write about my writing. But there’s no reason why I shouldn’t at least share some cool images from my stories.

Credit: Matthew Thrasher/Univ. of Texas

Here’s what oil looks like when you pour it in a pan. No, really.
When you pour oil from a good height, the falling stream does not merge right away with the oil already in the pan. What happens is that the falling oil carries a sheath of moving air around it, which acts like a cushion and keeps the stream isolated for a while.
Physicists tried pouring mineral oil into a round pan, while making the pan spin. The stream bounced back, looking like an oily Loch Ness monster.
The researchers published their findings in Physical Review E, and — unusually for a scientific paper — included instructions on how replicate the experiment at home.
(See Slick Serpent, in the July 28 Science News.)

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