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Watch: Mesmerizing Soap-Bubble Cyclones Help Scientists Understand Storms

The technicolor vortices shed light on how storms form and develop
Related: Earth, Hurricanes, Storm
Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014


The technicolor swirls in this video reveal movement on the surface of a soap bubble. The spinning structures were created by a group of physicists at the University of Bordeaux, France, attempting to better understand how storms form and develop.

During the study, published in New Scientist, the bubbles were heated and rotated. The resultant iridescent vortices offered researchers insight into the lifecycle of a cyclone. "If we had a better understanding of how the vortices are created, how they move and how they die, we would be able to provide better predictions for cyclone alerts," explained mathematician Patrick Fischer.

Of course, the physics of soap bubbles is simpler than that of a complex weather system, but the patterns apparent in the study are also seen in the Earth's atmosphere.

(via Gizmodo)

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