> continuums > méca-flu > phénomènes > vortex-rings > two-vortex-rings-colliding-smartereveryday

Two Vortex Rings Colliding in SLOW MOTION - Smarter Every Day 195

SmarterEveryDay - 2018-06-20

This took 4 years to recreate. 12 Hour edit here: https://youtu.be/Cm9l8-qngjM
Please subscribe if this video earned it: http://bit.ly/Subscribe2SED
Get a free audio book! http://www.audible.com/Smarter  ⇊  Click below for more links!  ⇊

High Resolution images will be provided to the Patrons of Smarter Every Day at: https://www.patreon.com/posts/high-quality-19568610
If you’d like to support big adventures like this, consider becomingbeing a Patron!

I’ve been chasing this problem for over 4 years.  The 12 hour edit chronicles the entire process after David Linderman and myself started working on it in earnest. 

People don't tweet me their thoughts about videos enough.  I'd love to hear from you.

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Song “Rings in Rings in Rings” by Gordon McGladdery of A Shell In The Pit
Listen to it on Spotify: (It helps 
All A Shell in the Pit music available at:


A Vortex Ring is also called a Toroidal Vortex

Original Research Paper by T. T. Lim & T. B. Nickels (Published in Nature 1992)

Governing Equations of Fluid Mechanics

Numerical Analysis of this phenomena

Interesting Research Papers on Vortex Ring Reconnection

Other Videos created by Dr. T T Lim

Flow Visualization, A Book by Dr. T T Lim

Why we typically don’t talk about angular momentum in fluids.

We used a computer controlled cylinder to pump fluid behind a rubber membrane to fire toroidal vortices out of the vortex cannons.  

We fixed one of the vortex cannon in a stationary position, and used a multi-axis microscope stage to align a second cannon to it… which sounds incredibly easy, until you realize that 

DYE density was an experiment all on its own.
If the density of the dye mix was light than water, the vortex would go up.
If the dye was more dense than water the vortex would fall.

We had to overcome SO MANY VARIABLES to overcome and we basically spent about 4 hours figuring each variable.
Water/dye temperature differential
Water turbulence 
Water turbidity (cloudiness or haziness of a fluid)
How to reset the aquarium
Cannon Spacing
Cannon Nozzle
Cannon Shape
Dye homogeneity in the vortex itself
The piston displacement volume
The piston stroke speed
Rubber diaphragm tension, would make one side fire faster than the other.
Water or air to drive diaphram?
Firing speed (too slow and they drift, too fast and turbulence tears apart secondaries)
We did a complete redesign of the cannon 3 different times.
The Dye loading method was changed several times
At times We tried to maintain negative pressure on the cannon chamber… we also  tried to put shutters on the front of the muzzle.  Ultimately I decided it was ok to live with dye dripping out of the front.

We had to premix the dyes and eventually we got there.

It got to the point where we didn’t even really know what success looked like and always thought we were there.

The thought is my efforts making videos will help educate the world as a whole, and one day generate enough revenue to pay for my kids college education. Until then if you appreciate what you've learned in this video and the effort that went in to it, please SHARE THE VIDEO!

If you REALLY liked it, feel free to pitch a few dollars Smarter Every Day by becoming a Patron.

Warm Regards,


SmarterEveryDay - 2019-01-14

Thank you to the Patrons of Smarter Every Day for helping me do things like this: https://www.patreon.com/smartereveryday.

THE ENDER MANIAC - 2019-12-31

I know how it forms the outside rings.

ShadowProclamation11 - 2020-01-04

If the vortices are rotating in opposing directions, could the new rings orientations be due to gyroscopic procession

Рома Чупин - 2020-01-14

excuse me but if the question was why there was a snall rings apearing there's a simple explanation as for me.

Fuzzy Lumpkin - 2020-01-31

SmarterEveryDay subbed and shared👍

Brouette Bredouille - 2020-03-20

Hi, I thought about replacing the color by some hot and cold water and watch the result with a thermical camera. Would it work ?

Jeremy Adams - 2019-01-26

What's crazy is 30 years from now someone will probably watch the phantom footage and say wow that was filmed on a potato!

Xap Ete - 2020-01-02

Ed Ricker so movies would be video games I doubt that I think movies wouldn’t be interactive cause then it’s not a movie it’s a video game

Duke - 2020-01-10

@Shadow imagine a camera that can accurately pinpoint every single point of reference down to the atom and thus able to contain everything in the video in a data set. That's the next step for cameras.

Also, cameras have not caught up with our eyes. They have surpassed them in some ways, and are unable to catch up in other ways. Cameras can have a frame rate higher than what's humanly possible for a brain to interpret, but biological human eyes can auto-filter things like glare, have dynamic real time foreground and background focus, and are also able to depict up to 170 degrees of peripheral without distorting the overall picture.

NZGames - 2020-01-26

@Chris Davies Lmao in 30 years we'll record every singular particle in the environment recording changes to them

Mike - 2020-03-04

@mr. applejuice its not a whoosh you're just an idiot he was asking why it was woosh cause its clearly not.

Brouette Bredouille - 2020-03-20

Hi, I thought about replacing the color by some hot and cold water and watch the result with a thermical camera. Would it work ?

ADSaaron - 2019-12-22

Water Donuts fall in love and have children

tommy miller - 2020-01-12

@Elk The Wolf There was no stability in the family.

Elk The Wolf - 2020-01-12

@tommy miller never was even a family

tommy miller - 2020-01-13

@Elk The Wolf Ouch!

GreenPlayer0329 Lu - 2020-02-13

@You Daymon because they worked so hard and these is what he/she commented?

Brouette Bredouille - 2020-03-20

Hi, I thought about replacing the color by some hot and cold water and watch the result with a thermical camera. Would it work ?

Nicolas Lebouc - 2019-11-05

i don’t understand the dislikes, you work during 3 years on this project and you realise your objective.
Great work men!

skipydie - 2020-02-23

Simply. Envy.

Frybanche 123 - 2020-02-26


Lowell Martin - 2020-03-03

Me neither. Maybe it's because there wasn't a spectacular explosion that destroyed something.

Frank Blangeard - 2020-03-16

Even a video about cute kittens gets dislikes.

luigi mario - 2020-03-20

@ParanoidMaster Something tells me you wouldn't understand the physics if you heard them, let alone be capable of doing anything with that knowledge.

Music Love - 2019-10-13

4:52 казалось бы причем тут Украина?

Gerardo Gámez - 2019-12-23


Владимир Баскаков - 2020-01-02

@Yeet Yeeter I remember seeing at least one channel that makes translations of this channel. So the answer is "enough"

Zarbido 2235 - 2020-01-03


Fran Albornoz - 2020-02-09


Juas Juas - 2020-02-23

Jaja no entiendo nada, y ya de por sí me cuesta un poco el inglés.

Trainsmurf - 2019-12-30

I really like this, I think this could be scaled up to car size and we will see some truly amazing things

MrJadedGreen - 2020-01-10

Yes. Stuff like this is how we evolve. Yes, in a combustion engine, the explosion difference could be tremendous giving more horsepower, better fuel mileage. Problem is that piston coming up. There's really nowhere for the second output to have the spread out flat and evenly across the top of the piston that would make it that much greater. Would have to be dead on and spread it out flat covering the top of the piston. Then you have firing, which again is like the piston, where the plug would have to set to fire in the center of the fuel meeting and follow outward with the process. Fire in the dead center, the explosion would form in the center, chain it's self from there outward, covering the whole piston top giving more power through a multiple combustion series and require less fuel. Then you have timing. That's a whole other problem to get straight. Do you fire before, during or after contact? Computers should make easy work of that though. I like where your mind is headed with it regardless.

Bobby Duke Arts - 2018-06-21

Dude, that was incredibly beautiful

sam newcome - 2019-12-09

It looks like the alien language from the movie Arrival.

Hot Potato - 2019-12-31

Hi sir! Love your creations! ❤

Lana G - 2020-01-01

Ah wawnt thaet.

EJ Tamayo - 2020-01-18

No, it was incredibly satisfying

Divine Nwadike - 2020-03-21

You're everywhere

The Jokester Squad - 2019-10-16

I like how when they finally get it, they're just like "look at that man, wow" when they've been trying for a couple of years

グランドジオウ道を征く先輩 - 2019-09-22


nachuelo _ - 2020-03-07


Thorham - 2020-03-09

How am I supposed to read that, huh? Come on guys xD

M RTankix - 2020-03-11

nachuelo _ Don’t misunderstand us as people infected with corona virus just because we’re Japanese plz (日本人です)

Luis Capella - 2020-03-19

@M RTankix それは愚かな冗談でした

M RTankix - 2020-03-19

Luis Capella ok I didn’t have any confidence what he said was actually a joke or not so I said it
I’m sorry

Jason 13 - 2019-11-09

Me: yeah this is my best camera

Destin: POTATO!

Reno Simpson - 2019-12-27

6:43 Note the compressed clear water between the red and blue vortices just before impact that is encapsulated. I suspect that compression is what causes jets to shoot out at 90 degrees creating micro vortices.

ALKEMIST - 2020-01-17

Reno Simpson This is a good point. I suspect that tiny imperfections in the water pressure throughout the ring are the cause for those secondary rings.

You have points along the circumference of either ring where density is higher. And if that constructively interferes with another high density point in the other ring the secondary ring becomes more pronounced as the pressure escapes perpendicular to the ring and its direction of motion.

ALKEMIST - 2020-01-17

but i wonder why they push outwards rather than inwards as well.

Reno Simpson - 2020-01-17

@ALKEMIST Yes. A slight imperfection in the 'exiting' tube could cause these imperfections as well. I'm not sure of the I the metal disks were chambered and probably have chatter marks 'imperfections'

Reno Simpson - 2020-01-17

​@ALKEMIST The path of least resistance. If you blow up a balloon the air want say in side if you don't pinch the opening, it is pressurized ans wants to equalize to the surrounding air pressure. The same can be seen in the water just imagine the vortices as the balloon the water between being compressed air.

Pat F - 2020-02-08

at 4:30, watch the top develop. The red blue markers stay separated which follows the numerical results.
I wonder about dye density and angular momentum. Are the two primary vortices perfectly equal? Are the secondary vortices driven by imperfection or ?
Truly fascinating. And what a wonderful experiment both now and in 1992.

Fishum - 2019-02-15

3 years of painstaking work for us to go "woah nice" then go watch something else.

John. Beimheim - 2020-01-26

@ty smith That is the point. What exactly are they paying for or donating to? Explain to me what is so enjoyable about paint splashing in water - set up to signify something mind bending and clever - which BTW no one can articulate?

Tyler F - 2020-02-09

Fishum 10 million views... that’s a decent amount of money

John. Beimheim - 2020-02-09

@Tyler F A decent amount of ... well...

_Mossy_ - 2020-02-11


John. Beimheim - 2020-02-13

@_Mossy_ You probably want to avoid that.

カミーユビダン - 2019-09-27

ラビット! タンク!

Vaughn M. - 2019-10-05


饂飩うどん - 2019-10-05

@Vaughn M.
Kamen Rider Build

イルステ - 2019-10-08


hernán figueroa - 2019-11-14

i dont understand , but you got a like :V

Tony Montana - 2019-11-15

Oh si es cierto

JOSE TAYLOR - 2019-09-23

This channel was a YouTube recommendation for me. I'm glad I clicked the link lol. Amazing work. Thank you for your channel.

Charlie - 2020-01-08

tell me smarter every other day wouldnt be a great name for his second channel

Duncan Wallace - 2020-03-20

Imagine the first guy who discovered this, who persisted without realising he would get this result!! Now that's taking it to the next level.

WuzNab - 2019-01-18

My last 2 brain cells meeting.

Arnav Gahlot - 2019-03-11


Kimberly Sikorski - 2019-05-06

WuzNab 🤓😂🤣😜

John Arrington - 2019-05-08

You're last 2 brain cells could never create something that beautiful 😂😂😂

ALI AAIZ - 2019-05-26

Lol I'm dying 😂😂

The Bushwacker - 2020-02-09


Ultimate Driving Tips - 2019-09-18

Beautiful. Really just beautiful. I'd love to see you do some stuff with race cars!

Timmothy Bruns - 2020-03-06

This is about movement - welcome to the 4th dimension. 🙂

W Serba - 2020-01-03

This makes me wonder how this would appear in outer-space with no colorless medium, the water, to interfere with the collision.

emyo - 2020-01-01

Why does it turn 90 degrees when it forms new rings?

< ------ -------> X <--------- -------->

When the rotating outer rings pull apart(as described as Low Pressure) the collision is very much similar to the original. Is it not?

ConGie-Personal - 2019-12-11

"What is your Vortex Collision?" While you meant that to be a much more tangible question I've got this video game called black desert online that I've been playing for literally three and a half years and I'm still not done. Just gotta keep refilling the tank.

skudwoofer - 2020-02-07

1.) you should place a strong magnetic field near the physical reaction and see if magnetics influence the axis of the smaller vortexes (sp)

2.)could the Coriolis effect be part of what causes them to turn?

PS. 0 - 2019-09-29


Misty Nelson - 2020-01-03

That was the most beautiful thing I’ve seen in a bit, it was like seeing the magnetic field of two hearts in love colliding💗

Santiago Huerta - 2019-05-28

Water bill: 100%

ShadowHawk - 2019-10-24

Hotel: Trivago%

ElitePlays - 2019-11-13

@ShadowHawk makes no sense

NeutronX101 - 2019-11-19

What science?? What did they learn from this?

nobsherc - 2019-12-10

@NeutronX101 fluid dynamics

Newman - 2019-12-31

You have my photo

我輩は猫ですか? - 2019-09-28



ただの視聴者 - 2019-11-18



El Marcianito - 2019-11-22

Xin xing xen xon xun

さむらいキャンパス - 2019-11-24


Miph - 2020-02-07

2:41 that looks like the thing that teared the Spiderverse

Sterlin0 - 2019-09-12

someone must say it, so i do it now:



kali uchiha - 2018-06-25

accidentally makes a black hole

Peter Kay - 2019-11-11

@Dreamer King some NASA funded scientist thinks there is a black hole inside earth....was alsomy pet theory....

logan roufs - 2019-12-29

@BurGrr seariosly

logan roufs - 2019-12-29

@Neil Hinton that is still debated

Robin Hodson - 2019-12-31

@Dreamer King Not necessarily so silly: The same theory of gravity that makes black holes possible, makes us able to walk around on planetary surfaces, makes thrown balls arc back down, and makes putting things in orbit possible.

Alfian Fahmi - 2020-01-01

@Dreamer King That may have some truth in it, eventhough it's not a full-blown black hole that was in space.

佐倉悠 - 2019-10-02


Дмитрий Иванченко - 2019-10-14

佐倉悠 не гани

XxmeguxX - 2019-11-18


DameTusDerechos - 2020-01-01


Aliea Howe - 2020-02-24

4:23 is my favorite one. It’s like a jelly fish

MadKad - 2018-10-13

When YouTube recommendation is on point

Bambang Juliarto - 2018-10-31


P-51 player - 2018-12-19

572 likes but only 2 replys

Reid loh - 2018-12-25

yeah, I came from recommended

Fran Bargas - 2018-12-28


Robot831 - 2019-09-04


Brandon Johnston - 2020-01-23

Dude perfect be like "OMG first try!!!"

nagbo13 - 2019-12-10

I loved your lesson at the end. In every failure, always aim to learn from it. Then it wasn't in vain. It was worth it.

dih idi - 2019-09-30


Jarrod Lenoy - 2020-02-07

So this is what happens when you blow a smoke ring at someone and they blow one back and the rings connect lol

BWX - 2018-06-20

You are promoted to mad scientist status. Congratulations.

klevin - 2018-06-20

BWX beginner mad scientist

Steven Carranco - 2018-06-20

BWX sad scientist, dont end up like okabe

FeO2 - 2018-06-20


Camper Josh - 2018-07-21

BWX Sorry, but in no way this dumb experiment helps us in any way, it is just a purely aesthetic phenomenon.He isn't a mad scientist, he is someone who got waaay lot of time in his hands and nothing else to do

Лев Разумовский - 2020-01-01

Here comes ukrane

Photoshop Automation - 2020-01-01

Oh Boy !! this is really amazing .. i remember have something about the reason that make things rotate 90deg but for solid ...

Gbfcdd Bodmlo - 2019-09-13

If you want to see the collisions then go here ( 4:28 )

LEGEND - 2019-11-13

Thanks dude
You just saved 4mins and 28 seconds of my day

Gbfcdd Bodmlo - 2019-11-13

@LEGEND your welcome ! 😃😃

Mizushima Fujin - 2019-12-20

Listen to what leads up there, it makes it more worth watching

Ali Z Syed - 2020-01-26

@LEGEND It was worth watching and listening

LEGEND - 2020-01-26

@Ali Z Syed IDTS

Robert Crowley - 2020-03-13

I ABSOLUTELY love the shared lesson you learned with this, as much as the science behind it

adeeb - 2018-06-22

"all you gotta do is fill the tank up and give it another shot".

- Destin

Thomas H.L. - 2019-11-01

Money can't buy it....
2 Seconds later: So i went to my patreon page.

coffee - 2019-10-06

I’m Japanese high school student.
I was ery moved by this movie.
Thank you for giving me this impression.

Seth Aaron Sandidge - 2020-01-02

I can only imagine this is how it looks inside a hydrogen calider. Two membrains coliding together before makeing something new.

Kenzofeis - 2020-01-12

That is good thinking

Seth Aaron Sandidge - 2020-01-12

Outside the box yo ✌

Chirag Shukla - 2020-01-09

5:11 most beautiful one