Wingtip vortices are a result of the finite length of a wing. Airplanes generate lift by having low-pressure air travelling over the top of the wing and higher pressure air along the bottom. If the wing were infinite, the two flows would remain separate. Instead, the high-pressure air from under the wing sneaks around the wingtip to reach the lower pressure region. This creates the vorticity that trails behind the aircraft. I was first introduced to the concept of wingtip vortices in my junior year during introductory fluid dynamics. As I recall, the concept was utterly bizarre and so difficult to wrap our heads around that everyone, including the TA, had trouble figuring out which way the vortices were supposed to spin. A few good photos and videos would have helped, I’m sure. (Photo credits: U.S. Coast Guard, S. Morris, Nat. Geo/BBC2)
These pictures were created using long-exposure photography, which involves leaving the camera shutter open for up to an hour.
If I were a supervillain, I’d want my name to be Vantablack. Unfortunately, that moniker is already taken, but not by a Hollywood bad guy. No, its owner is even more dark and mysterious: Vantablack is the darkest material ever made.
Finally, you can know your way around a creamery with this handy guide to the differences between basically every frozen dessert.
Chemists have made the famous soccer ball-shaped molecule using a new element that allowed an unexpected atomic arrangement
In a 2013 poll, 65% of Americans thought this statement was true. It isn’t. Where’d that number come from?
Big day for science.