Image: Eureka Prize: Bottle cap gas dynamics

Eureka Prize: Bottle cap gas dynamics

For promotion of New Scientist Eureka Prize for Science Photography only.

Phred Petersen
© Phred Petersen


“Bottle cap gas dynamics” shows the rapid escape of CO2 from a bottle, approximately 12 milliseconds after being abruptly opened. The corrugations on the edge of the bottle cap are seen to shape the flow of CO2 deflected from inside it. A modified 3-colour Schlieren system allowed visualization of the CO2, which has a different refractive index than the surrounding air. Exposure was 1/8000 second. The colours are subjective. Understanding the subtle dynamics of rapid gas flows has application in areas like “green engine” research, where gas mixing and combustion processes are studied to improve the efficiency of automobile engines.


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