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Download Nature's patterns: Flow by Philip Ball PDF

By Philip Ball

From the swirl of a wisp of smoke to eddies in rivers, and the large continual typhoon method that's the good spot on Jupiter, we see comparable kinds and styles anyplace there's circulate - even if the flow of wind, water, sand, or flocks of birds. it's the complicated dynamics of move that constructions our surroundings, land, and oceans. a part of a trilogy of books exploring the technological know-how of styles in nature through acclaimed technological know-how author Philip Ball, this quantity explores the elusive principles that govern move - the technological know-how of chaotic habit.

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Nature's patterns: Flow

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They fired a jet of coloured dye into water whose saltiness increased with depth. This gradient in saltiness meant that the water got denser as it got deeper, which suppressed up-and-down currents in the fluid, making the flow essentially two-dimensional: each horizontal layer flowed in the same way. The initially disordered flow in the head of the jet gradually arranged itself into two counter-rotating lobes (Fig. 13). And to show just how robust these dipolar vortices are, van Heijst and Flo´r fired two of them at each other from opposite directions, so that they PATTERNS DOWNSTREAM j 41 collided head on.

16: The Great Red Spot consumes smaller vortices created in Jupiter’s shear flow. In this sequence of images, taken over a period of about two weeks, a small spot (indicated with a white arrow) enters in the upper right corner and is dragged into orbit around the Great Red Spot until eventually being sucked in. ) (Fig. 17). In effect, this is equivalent to a change from a smooth, circular vortex wall to a wavy one, with increasing numbers of waves fitting around the circumference, their peaks being the ‘corners’.

It is, in fact, a turbulent form of convection. The theory of fluid dynamics, which I shall outline in Chapter 6, supplies equations for describing flow that are extremely hard to solve 54 j NATURE’S PATTERNS: FLOW Fig. 3: The complexity of convection patterns increases as the driving force—the temperature difference between the top and the bottom of the vessel, measured as a quantity called the Rayleigh number—increases. First there are simple roll cells (a). At higher Rayleigh numbers, roll cells develop in the perpendicular direction too, so that the pattern consists of roughly square cells (b).

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