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fluid mystery

Decades of Fluid Mystery Solved by Researchers using Fluorescent Micro Particles

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A recent experiment by researchers in Cambridge using fluorescent micro particles has shed light on the decades-old fluid mystery. In general, fluids are of two types – regular ones that include water, alcohol, and similar fluids that usually react as expected. The second is the complex fluids including honey, paint, blood, ketchup, and similar ones that have a vast variety of behavioral enigmas.

Over the years, researchers have been studying the behavior and reaction of the flow of complex fluids. Earlier, it was observed that when certain liquids stream through cracks and holes in a porous landscape, initially, the liquid would flow at a normal rate. However, once the flow rate increases, it would pass a critical threshold and suddenly merge. These behavioral enigmas of the complex fluids have stumped researchers over the centuries.

The Mystery of Complex Fluids

During investigation by the Cambridge researchers on this fluid mystery, one such research revealed that viscosity is one of the most important things in characterizing, controlling, and predicting the reaction of the fluid. Over the years, researchers have been investigating and studying the movement and motion of pushers and other viscoelastic fluids containing long complex molecules.

Gradually, the study revealed that regular fluids are greatly influenced by inertia while complex fluids have very little inertia. Due to this, complex fluids stop flowing the moment the external force is removed causing trouble generating inertial turbulence. Another research revealed that the molecular motion of the liquid caused elastic turbulence.

Studying Elastic Turbulence

Therefore, to investigate the possible role of elastic turbulence on complex fluids, researchers used fluorescent microparticles into polymer-containing fluids and then recorded and observed the movement. It was observed that when the flow rate increased, the liquid began to tumble and loop back on itself, first in a pore or two, then in several more, and eventually in all the pores.

Since the inertia in these kinds of complex fluids is very low, therefore researchers concluded that this reaction was the result and effect of elastic turbulence. The findings of this experiment have also been published in ‘Science Advances’ recently. The findings could help researchers in harnessing elastic turbulence to clean dirty and polluted groundwater. Researchers are currently studying the relevance and relation of factors including pore shape, size, and overall geometry to elastic turbulence.

Read more: Everything you need to know about human environment interaction

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