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An Injection of Chaos Solves Decades-Old Fluid Mystery
In the 1960s, drillers noticed that certain fluids would firm up if they flowed too fast. Researchers have finally explained why.
An Unexpected Twist Lights Up the Secrets of Turbulence
Having solved a central mystery about the “twirliness” of tornadoes and other types of vortices, William Irvine has set his sights on turbulence, the white whale of classical physics.
New Math Proves That a Special Kind of Space-Time Is Unstable
Einstein’s equations describe three canonical configurations of space-time. Now one of these three — important in the study of quantum gravity — has been shown to be inherently unstable.
Astronomers Find Black Holes Stirring Up the Biggest Galaxies
After a space telescope disintegrated, astrophysicists had little hope of understanding how supermassive black holes agitate giant galaxies. Then they invented a hack.
Mathematicians Tame Turbulence in Flattened Fluids
By squeezing fluids into flat sheets, researchers can get a handle on the strange ways that turbulence feeds energy into a system instead of eating it away.
What Makes the Hardest Equations in Physics So Difficult?
The Navier-Stokes equations describe simple, everyday phenomena, like water flowing from a garden hose, yet they provide a million-dollar mathematical challenge.