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2011 News in Brief



Research shows that viscosity contrast can induce fast mixing of fluids

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viscous fingering of waterIn an analysis published in Physical Review Letters, researchers led by Professor Ruben Juanes show that the injection of a thin or low-viscosity fluid into a much more viscous fluid (think of water spurting into molasses) will cause the two fluids to mix very quickly via a physical process known as viscous fingering. The thinner liquid will form fingers as it enters the thicker liquid, and those fingers will form other fingers, and so on until the two liquids have mixed uniformly. For maximum mixing to occur quickly, the ideal ratio of the viscosity of any two fluids depends on the speed at which the thinner liquid is injected into the thicker one. Read a news story.