This took 4 years to recreate. 12 Hour edit here: https://youtu.be/Cm9l8-qngjM
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I’ve been chasing this problem for over 4 years. The 12 hour edit chronicles the entire process after David Linderman and myself started working on it in earnest.

People don’t tweet me their thoughts about videos enough. I’d love to hear from you.

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Song “Rings in Rings in Rings” by Gordon McGladdery of A Shell In The Pit
Listen to it on Spotify: (It helps

All A Shell in the Pit music available at:
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http://ashellinthepit.bandcamp.com/

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GET SMARTER SECTION

A Vortex Ring is also called a Toroidal Vortex
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vortex_ring

Original Research Paper by T. T. Lim & T. B. Nickels (Published in Nature 1992)
http://202.118.74.190/~elizabeth/Docs/34_Instability_Head-on%20collision_of_large_VR.pdf

Governing Equations of Fluid Mechanics
http://www.eng.auburn.edu/~tplacek/courses/fluidsreview-1.pdf

Numerical Analysis of this phenomena
http://fluid.itcmp.pwr.wroc.pl/~znmp/Publikacje/JP_2014_Kudela_Kosior.pdf

Interesting Research Papers on Vortex Ring Reconnection
https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/3721/e67f5bf8e88a47e2241058c7e3cc064c5e8a.pdf

Other Videos created by Dr. T T Lim
http://me.nus.edu.sg/dept/limtt/videogallery.html

Flow Visualization, A Book by Dr. T T Lim

Why we typically don’t talk about angular momentum in fluids.
https://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/127712/why-dont-we-talk-about-angular-momentum-at-all-in-fluid-mechanics

We used a computer controlled cylinder to pump fluid behind a rubber membrane to fire toroidal vortices out of the vortex cannons.

We fixed one of the vortex cannon in a stationary position, and used a multi-axis microscope stage to align a second cannon to it… which sounds incredibly easy, until you realize that

DYE density was an experiment all on its own.
If the density of the dye mix was light than water, the vortex would go up.
If the dye was more dense than water the vortex would fall.

We had to overcome SO MANY VARIABLES to overcome and we basically spent about 4 hours figuring each variable.
Water/dye temperature differential
Water turbulence
Water turbidity (cloudiness or haziness of a fluid)
How to reset the aquarium
Cannon Spacing
Cannon Nozzle
Cannon Shape
Dye homogeneity in the vortex itself
The piston displacement volume
The piston stroke speed
Rubber diaphragm tension, would make one side fire faster than the other.
Water or air to drive diaphram?
Firing speed (too slow and they drift, too fast and turbulence tears apart secondaries)
We did a complete redesign of the cannon 3 different times.
The Dye loading method was changed several times
At times We tried to maintain negative pressure on the cannon chamber… we also tried to put shutters on the front of the muzzle. Ultimately I decided it was ok to live with dye dripping out of the front.

We had to premix the dyes and eventually we got there.

It got to the point where we didn’t even really know what success looked like and always thought we were there.
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The thought is my efforts making videos will help educate the world as a whole, and one day generate enough revenue to pay for my kids college education. Until then if you appreciate what you’ve learned in this video and the effort that went in to it, please SHARE THE VIDEO!

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Warm Regards,

Destin

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