Two Vortex Rings Colliding in SLOW MOTION - Smarter Every Day 195

  • Published: 20 June 2018
  • This took 4 years to recreate. 12 Hour edit here:
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    I’ve been chasing this problem for over 4 years. The 12 hour edit chronicles the entire process after David Linderman and myself started working on it in earnest.

    People don't tweet me their thoughts about videos enough. I'd love to hear from you.

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    Song “Rings in Rings in Rings” by Gordon McGladdery of A Shell In The Pit
    Listen to it on Spotify: (It helps
    All A Shell in the Pit music available at:


    A Vortex Ring is also called a Toroidal Vortex

    Original Research Paper by T. T. Lim & T. B. Nickels (Published in Nature 1992)

    Governing Equations of Fluid Mechanics

    Numerical Analysis of this phenomena

    Interesting Research Papers on Vortex Ring Reconnection

    Other Videos created by Dr. T T Lim

    Flow Visualization, A Book by Dr. T T Lim

    Why we typically don’t talk about angular momentum in fluids.

    We used a computer controlled cylinder to pump fluid behind a rubber membrane to fire toroidal vortices out of the vortex cannons.

    We fixed one of the vortex cannon in a stationary position, and used a multi-axis microscope stage to align a second cannon to it… which sounds incredibly easy, until you realize that

    DYE density was an experiment all on its own.
    If the density of the dye mix was light than water, the vortex would go up.
    If the dye was more dense than water the vortex would fall.

    We had to overcome SO MANY VARIABLES to overcome and we basically spent about 4 hours figuring each variable.
    Water/dye temperature differential
    Water turbulence
    Water turbidity (cloudiness or haziness of a fluid)
    How to reset the aquarium
    Cannon Spacing
    Cannon Nozzle
    Cannon Shape
    Dye homogeneity in the vortex itself
    The piston displacement volume
    The piston stroke speed
    Rubber diaphragm tension, would make one side fire faster than the other.
    Water or air to drive diaphram?
    Firing speed (too slow and they drift, too fast and turbulence tears apart secondaries)
    We did a complete redesign of the cannon 3 different times.
    The Dye loading method was changed several times
    At times We tried to maintain negative pressure on the cannon chamber… we also tried to put shutters on the front of the muzzle. Ultimately I decided it was ok to live with dye dripping out of the front.

    We had to premix the dyes and eventually we got there.

    It got to the point where we didn’t even really know what success looked like and always thought we were there.

    The thought is my efforts making videos will help educate the world as a whole, and one day generate enough revenue to pay for my kids college education. Until then if you appreciate what you've learned in this video and the effort that went in to it, please SHARE THE VIDEO!

    If you REALLY liked it, feel free to pitch a few dollars Smarter Every Day by becoming a Patron.

    Warm Regards,

  • Science and Technology Science and Technology

Comments • 12 801

  • SmarterEveryDay
    SmarterEveryDay   11 months back

    Thank you to the Patrons of Smarter Every Day for helping me do things like this:

    • Shubham kaushik
      Shubham kaushik  2 days back

      I subscribed by this video. Do this type of videos in future

    • habib rahman
      habib rahman  3 days back

      please sir make a movie on discharge Ray tube.

    • Mashimaro Umaru
      Mashimaro Umaru  2 weeks back

      I’d like a Pepsi after this…

    • Jalil29
      Jalil29  1 months back

      Have you considered putting two sets right next to each other, get the pairs secondary rings to collide each other?

    • Imaginaton Blueprints
      Imaginaton Blueprints  3 months back

      Earned a sub from me 😉

  • Gambo Games
    Gambo Games  8 hours back

    5:00 una lección de vida

      THE FINAL HOUR  11 hours back

      Looks like you replicated the creation of Galaxies.

      • Stun V
        Stun V  19 hours back

        Layman here but I would think once the low pressure areas draw the material and concentrate it to the focused areas basically creating a “mini syringe 💉 “effect in that direction, the very motion of this concentration pushing against the resistance of the water creating the rings 90 degrees from origin. ... Maybe 🤷🏻‍♂️ but very cool nonetheless. I wonder if the same would happen with air, smoke💨, vapor, in atmosphere or vacuum ?... So many questions.. 👍🏼 awesome 😎

        • KERD
          KERD  21 hours back

          Possibly the most satisfying video ever, even if it wasn't intentional

          • Phonotical
            Phonotical  1 days back

            Easy, think of how the water if flowing when two equal streams collide, fluid dynamics

            • mark rdz
              mark rdz  2 days back

              Primera vez que me interesa más un anuncio que un vídeo

              • Renan SiX
                Renan SiX  2 days back

                I know how this made 2nd rings, they do not turn 90º, the water flux after 1st ring broked create the secondary rings. I don't know how explain this exactly, but that is the point.

                • D N
                  D N  2 days back


                  • Adrian J
                    Adrian J  2 days back

                    Dustine, do video explaining what I saw today. Ring of air released under water broke continuity of circle but second later magically it connected itself back into the circle. What physics took part in it?

                    • RL Dearborn
                      RL Dearborn  2 days back

                      What type of camera was that plz answer

                      • 박노아
                        박노아  2 days back

                        청적합일 -..
                        이걸아는 나이트런독자없낭ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ

                        • tor doc
                          tor doc  3 days back

                          I...... I don't know what to say...
                          Just... Thanks to make this video...

                          • bozhechka na Ebisah
                            bozhechka na Ebisah  3 days back

                            4:42 Слава Украине!

                            • SP GAMER
                              SP GAMER  3 days back

                              2 столкнулись и получилось много маленьких)

                              • 吳家有
                                吳家有  3 days back


                                • Van House
                                  Van House  3 days back

                                  I want to buy one of those please

                                  • karubona
                                    karubona  3 days back


                                    • Jay Swarrow
                                      Jay Swarrow  3 days back

                                      5:41 Clev'uuuuuuur.... *slow clap* Veeeeery clev'uuuur...

                                      • Ju Hyung Seo
                                        Ju Hyung Seo  3 days back

                                        신기하고 이뻐서 왔는데 교훈을 주시네

                                        • Codename: Xelda
                                          Codename: Xelda  3 days back

                                          Insert portal SFX 0:00

                                          • Erik Susanto
                                            Erik Susanto  3 days back

                                            memper wong kuranggm gawean

                                            • Sergio
                                              Sergio  3 days back

                                              No se hablar ingles, pero devo decir que es un placer ver un proyecto de 3 años realizado, gracias por demostrar que la perceverancia es fundamental para llegar a los resultados deseados.

                                              • Anosios
                                                Anosios  4 days back

                                                Вот оно ребят, адронный коллайдер! Они хотят так портал открыть.

                                                • Nekpirrek Nek 1
                                                  Nekpirrek Nek 1  4 days back

                                                  Tambien a como son las colisiones de atrones

                                                  • Nekpirrek Nek 1
                                                    Nekpirrek Nek 1  4 days back

                                                    Me recuersa a la explocion de una extrella en reversa xd

                                                    • Александр Ковальский

                                                      А озвучить слабо.

                                                      • taith2
                                                        taith2  4 days back

                                                        Wonder if there is a way to paint grid in still water to observe surrounding water

                                                        • Ham Fat
                                                          Ham Fat  4 days back

                                                          How much number group of color after collision? I see it split out to small group, can you adjust number of color group? It very beautiful #_#~!!!

                                                          • Mukesh Luhar
                                                            Mukesh Luhar  5 days back

                                                            beautiful AF

                                                            • 結月FA
                                                              結月FA  5 days back


                                                              • William Wolfcastle
                                                                William Wolfcastle  5 days back

                                                                And that my friend is how galaxies are made or multiply or combined celestial bodies in space are fluid like these rings in water
                                                                awesome sauce

                                                                • Duga
                                                                  Duga  6 days back

                                                                  IT LOOKS LIKE TWO PEOPLE WITH SUPERPOWERS PUNCHED TOGETHER.

                                                                  • 日焼け大好きピロっと

                                                                    I supposed that i will be able to see formula of this phenomenon at first,but i unexpectedly could learn 'PERSISTENCE'.tnx😃

                                                                    • jin wook lee
                                                                      jin wook lee  6 days back

                                                                      정말 멋지네요..
                                                                      근데 유투브야 너는 정말...

                                                                      • 나연아사랑해
                                                                        나연아사랑해  6 days back

                                                                        Respect you

                                                                        • Kite Demark
                                                                          Kite Demark  6 days back

                                                                          _All see Fibers of Liquid?_
                                                                          __Liquid consists of the same Web-Veil-Cellular structure, as Gases, and Solids!_
                                                                          ___Just in Solids, the Web-Crystal Lattice becomes stiff due to the denser arrangement of the Isotopes-Nodes and their more Complicated-Massive-Star-shaped structure!_

                                                                          • Alejandro Arc
                                                                            Alejandro Arc  6 days back


                                                                            • Lulzswag
                                                                              Lulzswag  6 days back

                                                                              My eyes just had an eyegasm which made them wet.
                                                                              We're on a first name basis now.

                                                                              • Witson I not A
                                                                                Witson I not A  6 days back

                                                                                4:42 казалось бы, при чем тут Украина...

                                                                                • Cecilia Tavarez
                                                                                  Cecilia Tavarez  6 days back

                                                                                  One Is the same as Spiderman's pallete.I wonder why🗿

                                                                                  • Joseph Seteram
                                                                                    Joseph Seteram  6 days back

                                                                                    Do you think it would be possible to replicate this event with a modified vape?

                                                                                    • smire59 fire dust
                                                                                      smire59 fire dust  6 days back

                                                                                      4:23 it looks like a jelly fish :)

                                                                                      • Creepypastas ARSYT
                                                                                        Creepypastas ARSYT  6 days back

                                                                                        is that what i call: math in the real life!

                                                                                        • 苅田結城
                                                                                          苅田結城  7 days back


                                                                                          • First Last
                                                                                            First Last  1 weeks back

                                                                                            4:22 don't thank

                                                                                            • shivam 007
                                                                                              shivam 007  1 weeks back

                                                                                              All you gotta do is waste lot of water

                                                                                              • Joe Hoe
                                                                                                Joe Hoe  1 weeks back

                                                                                                I remember when i was younger my brother and i use to point our butts at each other and do this. Good times