2009 Lay Language Papers

The Division of Fluid Dynamics exists for the advancement and diffusion of knowledge of the physics of fluids with special emphasis on the dynamical theories of the liquid, plastic and gaseous states of matter under all conditions of temperature and pressure.

These Lay Language Papers relate to the 62nd APS Division of Fluid Dynamics Annual Meeting, which was held November 22-24, 2009, at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. 

Lay-language papers are roughly 500 word summaries written for a general audience by the authors of individual presentations with accompanying graphics and multimedia files. They serve as starting points for journalists who are interested in covering the meeting but cannot attend in person.

Reporters seeking permission to use these images or to contact the authors should email Jason Bardi.

The Swiss Army’s Shot at Science: High-Speed Impact of a Solid on a Water Jet


The high-speed impact of a solid on water drops, or jets, may lead to severe erosion in a variety of industrial applications. In the present study, we achieved a unique experimental set-up to investigate the physical phenomena involved in high-speed impact of a solid surface—a bullet—on a water jet, with the collaboration of the Swiss Army.

Grip or Aerodynamics: The Fluid Mechanics of Formula 1 Wheels


The Toyota-Stanford collaboration, for the first time, aimed at a detailed experimental investigation and high-fidelity simulation of a realistic F1 wheel including the tire deformation and the entire brake duct assembly.

Restoring Streams and River Through Cutting-edge Simulation-based Science: The Virtual StreamLab


Existing computer models of river flows oversimplify reality. The Virtual StreamLab is the first computer model of its kind that can simulate turbulence in natural streams at scales that are necessary to understand how water flow impacts the stability of the stream banks and affects the biota within the stream.

Imaging an Array of Quantum Tornadoes


While it is easy to visualize tornadoes whipping across the Midwest or mini water spouts spiraling down the bathtub drain, the vortices we are pursuing are of a special ilk.

Sagging(s) of Viscous Filaments


Liquid threads are commonly found in nature (spider webs, saliva, honey threads, …) and exhibit remarkably subtle properties between those of viscous fluids and elastic threads. We discuss here the different shapes observed while stretching horizontally a viscous liquid such as honey.

Satellite observations of atmospheric water vapor distributions

Water vapor is the most significant greenhouse gas in the Earth's atmosphere and its spatial distribution plays a role in determining the location and structure of clouds. Our research focuses on using measurements from NASA's Earth Observing System satellites to constrain the distribution of water vapor upon which Statistical cloud models are built.

Quantifying leakage from CO<sub>2</sub> reservoirs

Concern for the long-term fate of the Earth’s climate has increased in recent years, with many studies linking the increased atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide with the rise in global mean annual temperature.