Tuesday, November 25, 2014
A Phoenix AZ-based photographer and artist named Ernie Button (www.erniebutton.com) photographs these--and he got curious about what causes whiskey patterning. So he reached out to Howard Stone, PhD, at Princeton--Stone runs the Complex Fluids Group.
The fascination was how could a clear liquid like whiskey leave such a multicolored and ever-varying pattern.
We know single component liquids with a small volume of solids--coffee with cream, say-- leave an effect. Wine tears can also appear in wine glasses.
But not much was known--or thought about--alcohol and water.
Hmmm....seems the droplet of alcohol-water creates a complex mixing flow. Ethanol evaporates first and when it's gone, a pattern emerges.
They also wondered if the barrel in which whiskey is stored and the aging process would have something to do with this. But younger and more aged whiskeys behaved the same.
This made be useful--because it set the brains on the trail of seeing whether different things can be more uniformly distributed in a thin film--which will have many industrial applications.
From art to apps! Bottoms up--then grab a photo!