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Small vortex rings of air are repeatedly fired at the surface of mineral oil to visualize the air ring impacts. Vortex rings are created when a large bolus of air is quickly forced through an orifice. As the air is forced through the orifice, it sticks to the surface opposite the orifice based on the Coanda Effect. This imbalance imparts a spin to the air. The air ring eventually detaches but remains structurally very well in tact as it cruises through the air since it has a great deal of inertia from its rotational velocity. Fluids love to spin. Vortex ring generators of all sizes are extremely easy to build. A small vortex ring generator can be made with a coffee can, tape, a plastic bad, and a rubber-band. The rubber-band is used to quickly force the plastic bag, acting as a diaphragm, to push the air within the volume of the can through a hole cut into the bottom of it.

Vortex Rings

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A miniature airplane/submarine made from styrofoam, a staple, and copper tape projects through the fluid in response to the magnetic field. The dramatic drop off in the strength of the field as the plane starts far from the magnet is evidenced by it sinking and then bouncing off the ink droplets.

Hybrid Airplane-Submarine


Magnetic Field


Trajectory in a Field




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A thread, with steel clips mounted at various points along its length, is dragged around by a magnet. Eventually, one of the clips detaches from the thread, projects itself through the mineral oil, then through the mineral oil/air interface, and then through the air until it attaches itself to the magnet.

Magnetic Field


Trajectory in a Field


Physics Experiments





   beer droplets in oil  

   droplet interactions  

   bubble motion

   fluid viscosity  


   magnetic control of a thread

   deflection of an asteroid

   magneto-kinetic objects

   shaping magnetic fields

   ion spray generator


   Black-Hole in a Beer Can?  

   projectiles in magnetic fields

   projectiles in fluids

   Big Stir Theory

   impact curtain experiments

   balancing mechanism

   flapping wing mechanism

   fracture and reconstruction

   trefoil geometry


  green and red lasers in gas and fluid

  laser projection devices

  reflection, refraction, scattering


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