vortex-cannon

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Vortices are a ubiquitous part of life, whether they’re draining down your bathtub or propelling underwater robots. In the latest video from the Lib Lab project, you can learn about how vortex rings form, what makes them last so long, and even make a vortex generator of your own. I can personally attest that vortex cannons are good for hours of entertainment, no matter your age. They’re even more fun with friends, as the Oregon State drumline demonstrates in the video. Want even more vortex fun? Check out leapfrogging vorticesvortex rings colliding head-on, and a giant 3 meter wide vortex cannon in action. (Video and image credit: Lib Lab)

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That looks like fun with absolutely no practical applications. Yay!

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Building a vortex cannon is a great way to demonstrate the power and longevity of vortex rings. As demonstrated here, it’s possible to create one with just a box with a round hole in it. Adding some smoke or stage fog helps visualize the rings. Vortex rings are found frequently in nature: volcanoes make them, some plants use them to distribute spores, and dolphins and whales use them to play. (submitted by @aggieastronaut)

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This. is. AWESOME.

Super simple homemade vortex cannon? I’m in.