Turbulent Orb

Spin this sudsy, liquid-filled, sculpture that mimics the Coriolis effect that causes swirling clouds above Earth's surface and creates the striped bands of color on gaseous planets like Jupiter and Saturn.

As visitors spin this exhibit the suds follow the flow patterns caused by the changing speed of the rotation. Depending on the acceleration of the orb, laminar regions, where everything is parallel, appear and no mixing occurs. The laminar regions form bands, which follow the rotational direction of the orb. As the spin of the fluid slows and changes, the fluid mixes and the bands break up into turbulent swirls, ripples, and waves. Turbulent flow is complex and chaotic and converts organized, laminar flow into smaller and smaller forms.

Exhibit Set
Dynamic Earth Planetary Landscapes

 
 

Montshire Museum of Science Engage the Senses