Last updated on April 20, 2014 at 14:04 EDT
Clover and Miscellaneous-shaped Hydraulic Jumps Image 3
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Clover and Miscellaneous-shaped Hydraulic Jumps (Image 3)

July 23, 2010
A bowtie-shaped hydraulic jump.

When a falling liquid jet collides with a flat surface, the liquid spreads radially until it reaches a critical distance at which point, its depth increases. This abrupt increase in depth is known as a hydraulic jump. Typically, a circular jump is produced, but if the liquid is thickened--with a glycerol (a sugar) for example, one may observe a symmetry breaking and the formation of clover-shaped and polygonal jumps.

In addition to the clover and polygonal forms, researchers have discovered a new class of steady asymmetric jumps that include structures resembling cat's eyes, three and four-leaf clovers, bowties and butterflies. Researchers have conducted a parameter study that reveals the dependence of the jump structure on the governing parameters.

This research was performed at the Fluid Dynamics Lab at MIT. John Bush, professor of applied mathematics at MIT and a past-National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) program awardee, is director of the lab. The work was performed by Jeff Aristoff (now at Princeton), a recipient of an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship at the time. To learn more about Dr. Bush's work in fluid dynamics, visit his Web page Here. [Image 3 in a series of 6 related images. See Image 4. An additional series of hydraulic jump images from MIT's Fluid Dynamics Lab is available for viewing, beginning Here.]