Sunday, July 24, 2011

Amazing Water Fountain Illustrates Basic Kinematics

Rhett Allain at Dot.Physics found this video of an amazing water fountain show at a Japanese mall. While the whole thing is jaw-dropping, there's a small puzzle that anyone seeing it might start to wonder. Why do all the patterns made by the water show get bigger vertically as they fall down?

This, of course, can be explained by simple kinematics that any First Year intro physics student can understand. Allain explained it clearly in his blog entry that you can read for yourself. But again, this is another one of those "mundane" observations that I really love and it is fun to figure out why such things occur.

For your convenience, here's the video in question.



enderw88 said...

A slightly more complicated question is, "why to the sharp ends of 'object' bends upward while the rest of the shape elongates?" Look at the stars at about 1:45, you will see the extreme ends of the points on the star distort. This is probably a fluid dynamic drag effect, the long streams of water have lower drag than shorter streams so they have a higher terminal velocity than the short streams.

silentbob14 said...

Wow. Nice :)