Wednesday , September 29 2021

The test of Lord Calvin’s isotropic ideas for liquids fails to prove the theory

The test of Lord Calvin's isotropic ideas for liquids fails to prove the theory

Credit: G. Voth / University of Wesleyan, through physics

A small team of researchers from the University of Wesleyan, the University of Ex-Marseille and the University of Gothenburg tried to test Lord Calvin’s isotropic liquid theory by constructing several test objects and throwing them into a tub of water. In an article published in the journal Physical review letters, The group describes how they built their objects, how they were tested and what they were observed.

Nearly a century and a half ago, the famous mathematician Lord Calvin suggested that there should be an object that, if formed correctly, would look the same from every direction, and would rotate naturally if it fell into a water tank. He called his proposed object an isotropic liquid and suggested that it was probably a sphere with fins lying on its surface, some at 45-degree angles to the central circle, some at 90 °. The researchers believe that experiments are likely to have been made to test Calvin’s theory, but they have found no proof of this in research texts. They suggest that most of these attempts apparently involved the construction of objects that had defects, and prevented documentation of such efforts. In the new effort, the researchers used modern means to produce such a desirable object – three-dimensional printing.

They formed several isotropic liquids, with slight differences in the size and shape of the fins. They then dropped all their creations into a water tank and watched to see if any of them started spinning spontaneously. No one did; They all fell straight to the bottom of the tank. Then explore the possibility that there will be a slight rotation with one or more of their objects that was too small to be seen in a casual observation. To find out if that could be the case, they went back to their physical texts. When they looked at the hydrodynamic effects involved, they did some calculations that showed there had to be some coupling between their object and the water it passes through, which indicated that it had to rotate – it was just too small to see. The team has already begun work on a new design of the isotropic liquid that will demonstrate enough spin to be seen.

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more information:
Darcy Collins et al., Lord Calvin’s Isotropic Liquid, Physical review fluids (2021). DOI: 10.1103 / PhysRevFluids.6.074302. On Arxib:

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