Welcome to the Physical Ecology Group at the University of Lincoln
Although organisms obey the same physical laws as inanimate objects the evolutionary implications of these laws are often neglected. Physical factors influence the fitness value of traits and play an important role in the course of evolution. These are the areas of investigation that interest us.
Every year brings faster high-speed cameras and better quality imaging, so the Slow Mo Guys like to occasionally revisit topics they’ve done before, like paint vibrated on a speaker. The physics involved here are fantastic, so I’ll revisit the topic, too! In this version, Gav and Dan are using a pretty beefy speaker at a relatively high volume, so the paint gets a strong acceleration. As they note, the paint colors mix to brown almost immediately. In the high-speed footage, we can see why.
Watch how the individual strands of paint behave. As they fly upward, they stretch out and get thinner. That stretching has a side effect: it makes the paint spin. This is angular momentum of the paint being conserved. Just like a spinning ice skater who pulls his arms in, the paint spins faster as it gets thinner. This provides a lot of the mixing. Just look at how the different colors twist together! (Image and video credit: The Slow Mo Guys)