When a tire spins over a wet roadway, pressure at the front of the tire generates a lifting force; if that lift exceeds the weight of the car, it will start hydroplaning. To prevent this, the grooves of a tire’s tread are designed to redirect the water. Now researchers have visualized flow inside these grooves for the first time, using a version of particle image velocimetry (PIV). PIV techniques use fluorescent particles to track the flow.
The results reveal a complicated, two-phase flow inside the tire grooves. As seen in the images above, bubble columns form inside the tire grooves. The team’s results suggest that the bubble columns depended on groove width, spacing, and intersections with other grooves. They also saw evidence of vortices inside some grooves. (Image credit: tires – S. Warid, others – D. Cabut et al.; research credit: D. Cabut et al.; via Physics World; submitted by Kam-Yung Soh)
Need a little refresher on how airplanes fly? The middle school students of The Nueva School have you covered with their latest science rap parody. They take a look at the four main forces on a flying airplane and even dig a little bit into the principles behind lift generation. Check it out! (Video and image credit: Science With Tom/Science Rap Academy)
In “Geodaehan” Roman De Giuli’s macro fluid art mimics massive landscapes. The film takes us over deltas, rivers, glaciers, and landslides. Some look like earthbound locations, others look like something from Mars or Titan. All are, in fact, paint, ink, and glitter on paper! It’s truly incredible how artists capture large-scale fluid physics on such a tiny canvas. (Image and video credit: R. De Giuli)
Water constantly weathers sedimentary rock, both physically — through abrasion — and chemically — through dissolution and recrystallization. Now researchers have gotten their first view of this weathering at the Ångstrom level by observing porous rocks with environmental transmission electron microscopy as they interact with both water vapor and liquid water.
As expected, the experiments with liquid water showed that water dissolved the rocks and substantially changed the geometry of the rock’s pores. But the experiments also showed significant weathering from water vapor alone. The researchers found that water vapor formed a film on the surface of the rock’s pores in a process known as adsorption. This film substantially decreased the size of each pore and created strain in the rock. Once the water vapor was removed, the rock’s pores were notably altered, supporting the idea that this adsorption was, itself, a form of weathering. (Image credit: M. Kosloski; research credit: E. Barsotti et al.; via AGU EOS; submitted by Kam-Yung Soh)