We’ve talked about aeroelastic flutter and the demise of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge before, but this explanation from Minute Physics does a nice job of outlining the process simply. As noted in the video, the common explanation of resonance is inaccurate because the wind was constant, so there was no driving frequency for the system. (In contrast, consider vibrating a fluid where the response of the fluid depends on the frequency of the vibrations. This is resonance.) Instead the constant wind supplied energy that fed the natural frequencies of the structure such that an uncontrolled excitation built up. (Video credit: Minute Physics)
Here a collection of dry grains are vertically vibrated, creating a series of standing waves on the surface of the sand. The shapes of these Faraday waves are dependent upon the frequency of the vibration. Despite the solid nature of sand particles, this behavior is much the same as the behavior of a vibrated fluid.
Many microfluidic devices employ techniques that manipulate droplet motion for applications like sorting, manufacturing, or precisely controlling chemical reactions at a small scale. The video above shows the oscillations of a droplet on an inclined surface as it is perturbed with an electric field. (Video credit and submission: K. Nichols)
This video creates the illusion of a jet of water frozen in mid-air. The effect is achieved by vibrating the water at the frequency of the speaker, then filming at a frame rate identical to the vibrational frequency. Thus the water pulses at the exact rate that the camera captures images, making the water appear stationary even though it is moving. (submitted by Simon H)
Stuck here on Earth, it’s hard to know sometimes how greatly gravity affects the behavior of fluids. Fortunately, astronaut Don Pettit enjoys spending his free time on the International Space Station playing with physics. In his latest video, he shows some awesome examples of what is possible with a thin film of water—not a soap film like we make here on Earth—in microgravity. He demonstrates vibrational modes, droplet collision and coalescence, and some fascinating examples of Marangoni convection.