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Physics of a toy geyser

Baptiste Darbois Texier (GRASP, Phys. Dpt. Université de Liège, Belgique)
When Oct 21, 2015
from 10:45 to 12:00
Where room 116
Attendees Baptiste Darbois Texier
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A geyser is defined as a periodically eruptive spring resulting from Earth's thermal activity. The Old Faithful in the Yellowstone National park in United States erupts about every 90 minutes and projects hot water up to 56 m high [Figure 1]. Such impressive phenomenon can be reproduced at a smaller scale thanks to a toy‐experiment proposed by R. Bunsen in 1845 [Figure 2]. The latter consists of a reservoir placed at the bottom which is connected to a pool located at the top by the way of a long vertical vent. The system is filled with water and the reservoir is heated continuously. In the laboratory, we have replicated the setup and studied its dynamics.

    In this presentation, we will investigate the behavior of a toy-­experiment geyser and discover how it can be rationalized using different notions of fluid dynamics such as: boiling process, bubbly flow, thermal convection and liquid jet. In particular, the physical and geometrical conditions to get periodic eruptions will be investigated. Finally, we will discuss the similarities between the toy-­experiment and real geysers.

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