Thursday, May 31, 2012

Engineering Geekery

While I have never observed the phenomenon personally (probably because I usually get Guinness in a can), it is important to understand why it happens.

Engineers understand Stoke's Law which describes the drag on spherical objects with small Reynold's Numbers in a viscous fluid. It's the mechanism that describes how oil and water separate and you can use it calculate how long it will take a micron sized oil particle to travel a certain distance and hence know the residence time needed for separation. But folks who get their Guinness in a pint glass have notice that the bubbles in the brew seem to flow down rather than up. Leave it to the Irish to find out why.

Next I predict a Computational Fluid Dynamics Doctoral Thesis in the subject. You have to admit that the research would be fun.

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