clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Give your mind a break with fluid dynamics videos

Pretty colors

If you buy something from a Verge link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Dustin Kleckner et al.

We all have our strategies for a quick relaxation session: photos of serene wilderness, beautiful space images, cat videos. But for those of you who miss screensavers or music visualizations, I have a suggestion: fluid dynamics videos.

Take, for example, this timelapse video of clouds in Arizona:

The Chase from Mike Olbinski on Vimeo.

You don't necessarily have to understand the dynamics of cloud formation to enjoy this video — you just need to appreciate how wild our atmosphere really is. Or check this guy out — it's a dust devil composed entirely of volcanic dust and gasses picked up by super hot gasses:

But maybe you want a little more science with your pretty visuals. Don't worry, I've got you covered. This is a jerry-rigged record player from the UCLA spin lab, demonstrating a Taylor column — a well-known effect of rapidly rotating fluid systems:

Bonus points for RJD2's "Smoke and Mirrors," UCLA. In the same vein, here's a classic video from NACA Langley, which is now NASA's research center.

This final video is probably one of my favorites. Did you ever want to see vortices tied in knots? Sure! Here's a supplementary video from a 2013 study called "Creation and dynamics of knotted vortices," that was published in Nature Physics.

If this isn't enough for you, there's an excellent website run by Nicole Sharp, who not only helpfully cites where her gifs and videos come from, but — her a PhD in fluid in dynamics comes in handy here — can help explain what you're seeing. Fuck Yeah Fluid Dynamics updates with captivating photos, gifs and videos three times a week. I highly recommend it.