Flow Patterns on Water that Can Manipulate Floating Objects
Sunday, August 10, 2014
Physicists hailing from The Australian National University (ANU) have created a tractor beam on water that could confine oil spills and manipulate floating objects. The results of the experiment published in the journal Nature Physics states that anyone in a bathtub can reproduce it.
Physicists used a ping-pong ball in a wave tank after which they worked out the size and frequency of the waves required to move the ball in whichever direction they want. It was revealed that the waves generated currents on the surface of the water.
Researchers found that above a certain height, these complex three-dimensional waves generated flow patterns on the surface of the water; one of these pattern was the tractor beam. The team also experimented with different shaped plungers to generate different swirling flow patterns.