Tagged: vortices

The Science of Smoke Rings

Though smoking may not be the best thing to your health, smokers have come up rather creative ways to exhale their smoke. For decades, smokers have been forming smoke rings as crowd pleasers or for own personal entertainment. Smokers, though capable of blowing these captivating rings, may not know the reason these rings form. It […]

Solving the Mystery of the V

When you look up in the sky you just may happen to see a group of birds flying  in a V formation. But have you ever wondered why they do this? Its not because the “Mighty Ducks” told them to stick together or because it is just a random coincidence, it actually has a purpose. […]

Hummingbird’s Wake

One of my favorite things about spring and summer is lying in an open field watching the clouds go by. Every once and a while a plane will go by leaving an enormous wake of what looks like white clouds behind it. Only recently did I learn that these cloud trails are caused by vortexes of […]

Winglets: The anti-vortex device

In class we covered how vortices are generated at the tips of wings. We learned that this is due to high pressure air from under the wing spilling over the wing tip and moving into the area of low pressure above the wing. This causes a large “tornado” of air to form off of the […]

Vortices and the Amazing Flying V

We have learned that vortices can have devastating effects when an airplane flies through the wash of another airplane. The wings cause powerful spirals of air moving clockwise off the left wing and counterclockwise coming off the right wing. This holds for birds flying as well. The same vortex patterns emerge, albeit slightly different since […]