Acquirer: King Edward VII, King of the United Kingdom (1841-1910), when Albert Edward, Prince of Wales (married) (1863-1901)
Provenance: Presented to Albert Edward, Prince of Wales by Maharajah Jung Bahadur Rana, ruler of Nepal during his visit to India in 1875-6
This khanjar features a two edged re-curved blade with two deep grooves each side terminating in open-work scrolls. The blade is thickened at point while the hilt is made of green jade with a scrolled pommel set with rubies in a floral design.
UCLA Spinlab has another great video demonstrating the effects of rotation on a fluid. In a non-rotating fluid, flow over an obstacle is typically three-dimensional, with flow moving over as well as around the object. But in a steadily rotating fluid, as shown in the latter half of the video, the flow only moves around the obstacle, not over it. This non-intuitive behavior is part of the Taylor-Proudman theorem, which shows that flow around an obstacle in a rapidly rotating fluid will be two-dimensional and confined to planes perpendicular to the axis of rotation. (For the mathematically-inclined, Wikipedia does have a short derivation.) This 2D flow creates what are called Taylor columns over the obstacle. The Taylor column is like an imaginary extension of the original obstacle, turning the puck into a tall cylinder, and it’s real enough to flow, which diverts around it as though the column were there. (Video credit: UCLA Spinlab)
Anyone who has spent much time in an urban environment is familiar with the gusty turbulence that can be generated by steady winds interacting with tall buildings. To the atmospheric boundary layer—the first few hundred meters of atmosphere just above the ground—cities, forests, and other terrain changes act like sudden patches of roughness that disturb the flow and generate turbulence. The video above shows a numerical simulation of flow over an urban environment. The incoming flow off the ocean is relatively calm due to the smoothness of the water. But the roughness of an artificial island just off the coast acts like a trip, creating a new and more turbulent boundary layer within the atmospheric boundary layer. It’s this growing internal boundary layer whose turbulence we see visualized in greens and reds. (Video credit: H. Knoop et al.)
Saturday morning Japan’s Mount Ontake erupted unexpectedly, sending a pyroclastic flow streaming down the mountain. Many, though sadly not all, of the volcano’s hikers and visitors survived the eruption. Pyroclastic flows are fast-moving turbulent and often super-heated clouds filled with ash and poisonous gases. They can reach speeds of 700 kph and temperatures of 1000 degrees C. The usual gases released in a pyroclastic flow are denser than air, causing the cloud to remain near the ground. This is problematic for those trying to escape because the poisonous gases can fill the same low-lying areas in which survivors shelter. Heavy ashfall from the flow can destroy buildings or cause mudslides, and the fine volcanic glass particles in the ash are dangerous to inhale. The sheer power and scale of these geophysical flows is stunning to behold. Those who have witnessed it firsthand and survived are incredibly fortunate. For more on the science and history of Mount Ontake, see this detailed write-up at io9. (Image credits: A. Shimbun, source video; K. Terutoshi, source video; via io9)
One of the great wonders of life is watching the leaves change colors in the fall. When temperatures get cool, chlorophyll begins to break down revealing the underlying pigments in the plants’ sap. This depiction of the inner-workings of a maple leaf shows the process in action.
Outer space or under water? We partner with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute on “blue-water” dives in Monterey Bay, and our jellies aquarist Wyatt Patry recently observed a bloom of salps (jelly relatives).