JUL 26, 2016 10:07 AM PDT

How a Vortex Works


A vortex is a physics phenomenon that occurs when a gas or a liquid moves in circles. At the center is a vortex line that the matter swirls around. They are formed when there is a difference in the velocity of what surrounds the line. Hurricanes, tornadoes and air moving over a plane wing are examples of vortices. In this video a plate is moved through the still water of a pool creating twin vortices that stay together as they move across the pool. How do they do that?

The trick is that the plate is round. As opposed to a canoe paddle or cold and warm air crossing and creating a tornado, the rounded bottom of the plate creates a semi circular vortex line instead of a straight line. It's this curved line that connects the two vortices (formed on either side of the plate) and keeps them moving together. The half ring vortex line is a unique event in physics and adding the food coloring shows that it's capable of moving matter.
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
NOV 16, 2019
Genetics & Genomics
NOV 16, 2019
Dolphins Lost 85 Genes to Become Aquatic
Dolphins, whales and porpoises are marine mammals; otherwise known as cetaceans. Although they live exclusively underwater nowadays, tens of millions of ye...
NOV 16, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 16, 2019
A More Practical Theory Regarding Tabby's Star
A distant star system called KIC 8462852, also commonly known as ‘Tabby’s Star,’ has a particularly interesting reputation for dimming sp...
NOV 16, 2019
Earth & The Environment
NOV 16, 2019
The Amazon is Still Burning
Although other crises may be dominating international news headlines, the Amazon rainforest is still burning. The Wall Street Journal stated that more than...
NOV 16, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 16, 2019
New Technologies Are Headed for the International Space Station
Space is hard, and for that reason, researchers are always trying to come up with new ways to make it easier. One of the best places for new technologies t...
NOV 16, 2019
Plants & Animals
NOV 16, 2019
Have You Heard of the World's Most Trafficked Animal?
If you were asked what the world’s most trafficked animal was, what would you say? If you answered pangolin, then you’d be correct. Most people...
NOV 16, 2019
Chemistry & Physics
NOV 16, 2019
Will Thorium Reactors Have a Future in Clean Energy?
In its pure form, thorium is a silver-black colored metal. Named after Thor, the hammer-wielding Norse god of thunder, it is the 90th element on the period...
Loading Comments...