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NASA Experiment Examines Fluid Flow 10

scubacuda writes "A new NASA experiment might shed light on thixotropic objects (e.g. ketchup not coming out of the bottle easily) and the mysteries of sheer thinning. At present, fluid interactions on the molecular level is difficult to predict: there is no tight theory that accurately predicts how a new polymer "goop" might flow through a pipe without testing via experiments."
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NASA Experiment Examines Fluid Flow

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  • hmmmm, we know constants for the flow of water and carbon chains (petrol). The problem with 'goops' is that they contain solid particles, and their particles are different sizes. THis size difference is what makes 'goops' unpredictable. Now with constant sized objects, eg wheat, you can predict flow. The standard grain elivator pipe was just the size so that a certain amount of grains could form a 'bridge' like thing and clog the pipe. they found out that this was constant. So, they then did two things. They enlarged the pipes and put compressed air vents to blow the wheat through.

    Now thixotropic gels and materials are hard to model, but not impossible. It just takes a long time, due to the range of particle size, and the different bond strengths of the molecules in the gel.
  • If they can figure out how this effect works, they may be able to recreate a liquid that they can selectively make solid (through electrical discharge, radiation and so on). Think of the theoretical possibilities. Crowd control, insulation, TV game shows.

    Reminds me of Gak
  • Sound like a new project for Steven Wolfram. Same scenario too, can't predict the outcome till you get there, just computers can run the system faster than nature.

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