Star Gravity Waves

Star Gravity Wave

Vertically vibrations cause surface water to alternate between star and pentagon shapes.
Image Credit: Jean Rajchenbach, Alphonse Leroux, and Didier Clamond (CNRS and Université de Nice, France)

Non-newtonian fluids may make the headlines, but their more common Newtonian cousins — such as water — can be just as exciting. In the experiment depicted above, scientists vibrated a container partially filled with such a fluid, causing the fluid to form several beautiful shapes.

Different shapes have different lines of symmetry. For instance, pentagons have five lines of symmetry, and physicists can change the symmetry of the fluid's shape by changing the frequency of vibration.

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