How Do You Tie Water Into A Knot?

Plasmas and fluids, including the plasma on the sun, seem to exhibit knots on occasion. By creating their own artificial fluid knots, physicists Dustin Kleckner and William T. M. Irvine hoped to learn more about the nature of fluids. They designed 3D-printed hydrofoils that created fast-moving vortices when accelerated through the water, and filmed them with a high-speed camera.

Key Facts In This Video

  1. A vortex knot is similar to a complex smoke ring. 00:14

  2. Researchers were able to create "water knots" by using 3D-printed wings. 01:34

  3. Studying knotted vortices could lead to a better understanding of the sun's coronal loops. 02:25

Written by Curiosity Staff October 30, 2015

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