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Soft Matter news

How birds fly in flocks

Many fish species swim in schools and birds fly in flocks. Such collective behaviour must arise from the interactions between the animals. How it works was largely unclear. Now, two Wageningen-researchers provide important ...

dateJun 08, 2018 in Soft Matter
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Capillary flow is harnessed for the first time

You may never have heard of the capillary effect, but it's something you deal with every time you wipe up a spill or put flowers in water. Wouter van der Wijngaart has spent most of his life contemplating this phenomenon, ...

dateMay 22, 2018 in Soft Matter
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It all comes down to roughness

Lucio Isa and his team of researchers have explained how the surface characteristics of microspheres affect rapid increases in the viscosity of suspensions, thus laying the groundwork for applications such as smoothly flowing ...

dateMay 02, 2018 in Soft Matter
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Kirigami inspires better bandages

Scraped up knees and elbows are tricky places to securely apply a bandage. More often than not, the adhesive will peel away from the skin with just a few bends of the affected joint.

dateMar 27, 2018 in Soft Matter
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The view from inside supersonic combustion

In a jet engine, the flow of air is slowed down to increase the temperature and pressure for combustion—burning fuel with the right ratio of fuel and air to conquer drag allows for acceleration.

dateMar 15, 2018 in Soft Matter
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Research helps break ground to clean up land

Researchers at Swansea University's Complex Flow Lab have been exploring the intricate shapes that emerge when air is injected into soil. Published in Physical Review Applied, these findings could one day be used to speed ...

dateJan 22, 2018 in Soft Matter
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Putting some skin in the turbulence game

An algorithm that improves simulations of turbulent flows by enabling the accurate calculation of a parameter called skin friction has been developed by KAUST researchers in collaboration with researchers at the California ...

dateJan 09, 2018 in Soft Matter
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Unusual thermal convection in a well-mixed fluid

Researchers from Tokyo Metropolitan University, have recently discovered unusual thermal convection in a uniform mixture of high- and low-viscosity liquids. Kobayashi and Kurita found that concentration fluctuations are enhanced ...

dateDec 15, 2017 in Soft Matter
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Controlling a vortex using polymers

A vortex in the atmosphere can churn with enough power to create a typhoon. But more subtle vortices form constantly in nature. Many of them are too small to be seen with the naked eye.

dateNov 28, 2017 in Soft Matter
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A deeper understanding of a surface phenomenon

Phenomena involving surface tension are extremely complex and have applications in our everyday lives, and OIST researchers are tackling the complicated mathematics behind the physics.

Intertwining vortices finally measured in laboratory

University of Chicago physicists working in the nascent field of experimental vortex dynamics have, with unexpected help from a Sharpie marker, achieved the first measurements of an elusive but fundamental property of fluid ...

Spiky ferrofluid thrusters can move satellites

Brandon Jackson, a doctoral candidate in mechanical engineering at Michigan Technological University, has created a new computational model of an electrospray thruster using ionic liquid ferrofluid—a promising technology ...

Wave beams mix and stir the ocean to create climate

Ocean circulation patterns have a profound effect on global climate. Waves deep within the ocean play an important role in establishing this circulation, arising when tidal currents oscillate over an uneven ocean bottom. ...

Researchers compute their way toward cleaner coal plants

When you think of turbulence, you might think of a bumpy plane ride. Turbulence, however, is far more ubiquitous to our lives than just air travel. Ocean waves, smoke from fire, even noise coming from jet engines or wind ...

How fluids flow through shale

Most of the world's oil and natural gas reserves may be locked up inside the tiny pores comprising shale rock. But current drilling and fracturing methods can't extract this fuel very well, recovering only an estimated 5 ...

Nature plants a seed of engineering inspiration

Researchers in South Korea have quantitatively deconstructed what they describe as the "ingenious mobility strategies" of seeds that self-burrow rotationally into soil. This is an example of the many ways nature uses biological ...

Lasers measure jet disintegration

There are many processes, such as propulsion, in which fluid in a supercritical state, where the temperature and pressure put a substance beyond a distinguishable liquid or gas phase, is injected in an environment of supercritical ...

New bubbling mechanism discovered in physics

A group of researchers at Zhejiang University's State Key Laboratory of Fluid Power and Mechatronic Systems, in Hangzhou, China, recently discovered that a new bubbling mechanism may exist within the realm of physics.

Inventing a new kind of matter

Imagine a liquid that could move on its own. No need for human effort or the pull of gravity. You could put it in a container flat on a table, not touch it in any way, and it would still flow.

Checking China's pollution by satellite
Coral reef 'oases' offer glimmer of hope
Marine reserves are vital—but under pressure
Organic crystals twist, bend, and heal
Rewiring plant defence genes to reduce crop waste
Electrical wire properties of DNA linked to cancer
In the gaping mouth of ancient crocodiles

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