Document Type

Honors Thesis


Vortices are ubiquitous in nature. From kitchen sinks to galaxies, they can be found everywhere. Usually, the swirling motion of fluids comes to mind when one thinks of vortices. Being significantly important in various fields such as engineering, physics, chemistry, and aerospace, it has been extensively studied for centuries. Still, we do not have an unambiguous and universally accepted definition of a vortex. Often vorticity is used to describe the vortex, which is accurate for rigid body rotation; however, this explanation is simply not true for the fluid flow in the boundary layer. For fluid rotation, pure shear deformation needs to be considered. In order to demonstrate that, we recreated Shapiro’s experiment where he used the rigid body (vorticity meter) rotation to show that the vorticity is the same thing as the vortex. Additionally, we used dyed ink to investigate if the same results still hold in fluid rotation as they did for the vorticity meter.

Publication Date




Faculty Mentor of Honors Project

Chaoqun Liu



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