Supersonic Air Flow due to Solid-Liquid Impact

Condensed Matter journal club

Supersonic Air Flow due to Solid-Liquid Impact

  • Event time: 11:30am
  • Event date: 29th January 2010
  • Speaker: Alasdair Thompson (Formerly School of Physics & Astronomy, University of Edinburgh)
  • Location: Room 2511,

Event details


A solid object impacting on liquid creates a liquid jet due to the collapse of the impact cavity. Using visualization experiments with smoke particles and multiscale simulations, we show that in addition, a high-speed air jet is pushed out of the cavity. Despite an impact velocity of only 1 m/s, this air jet attains supersonic speeds already when the cavity is slightly larger than 1 mm in diameter. The structure of the air flow closely resembles that of compressible flow through a nozzle—with the key difference that here the “nozzle” is a liquid cavity shrinking rapidly in time.
Phys. Rev. Lett 104 024501 (2009)


S. Gekle, I.R. Peters, J.M. Gordillo, D. van der Meer, and D. Lohse