Fluids Climbing Spinning Rods in Reduced Gravity

Team: Department of Space Physics and Astronomy, Rice University


We will investigate the viscoelastic properties of polymer solutions by measuring the rotating-rod climbing properties of polyacrylamide solutions on a set of different sized rods in the reduced gravity environment provided by NASA's KC-135 aircraft. We will insert a cylindrical rod vertically into a reservoir of viscoelastic fluid and videotape the rod/fluid interface and fluid shape as the rod is rotated. We will determine the size and shape of the glob of fluid which climbs the rod by analyzing the video. Comparing these results with theoretical curves from previous research, we will deduce the surface tension and Weber number of the various fluids. By calculating the Bond numbers using the residual gravity measured in the experiment, we will test the theoretical dependence of the shape of the glob on the Bond number. After the experimental runs and analysis, we will post our results on a World Wide Web page, which will include information about all the supporting institutions, as well the details of our experiment. This page can be easily converted into a path at the Houston Museum of Natural Science's Internet Project Kiosks. We will also present our results at one of our department's weekly scientific colloquia, at Science-by-Mail's "Meet Your Scientist Day", at the Houston Museum of Science's Summer Space Camp, and in local schools. In addition, we will contribute to the production of the master videotape of the SURF Academy Summer Experience.

Website for this Experiment


Tuesday, 27-Jan-2004 19:53:42 CST