Polygonal-shaped Hydraulic Jump Image 1
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Polygonal-shaped Hydraulic Jump (Image 1)

July 11, 2011
A three-sided, polygonal-shaped 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 a polygonal or clover-shaped jump.

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, bow ties 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 University), a recipient of an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship at the time.

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