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.
File this one under “Oddly Satisfying” – this timelapse video shows the process of melting a jawbreaker candy using a blowtorch. Over a minute and a half, each colorful layer of candy melts away to reveal the strata beneath. There’s a definite connection here to some of the previous research we’ve discussed on erosion, dissolution, and melting. The blowtorch’s flame generates a hot boundary layer around the candy surface; it’s thickest and hottest at the central stagnation point, but judging by the melting layer we see running all the way to the candy’s shoulder, its size and effect are substantial even there. It’s hard to tell from the video whether the surface of candy is getting roughened (a la scalloping) or whether that’s just an uneven layer of melted candy flow. Regardless, it’s a fun watch. (Video and image credit: Let’s Melt This; via Colossal)