LLNL Discovery Museum


Cloud Rings


Cloud Rings uses a mist generator and a large rubber membrane with a hole in the middle to launch a ring of vapor up to the ceiling. The ring is generated by the friction between the hole's edge and the vapor flowing through the hole, which forms a swirling pattern known as a vortex.

Blow soap bubbles over the center of the exhibit then launch a cloud ring through the bubbles. Note how the bubbles orbit the vortex moving up in the center and down around the edges.

Ask students to make a slow moving cloud ring.

Then have them make a slow ring followed by a fast ring. The fast ring will overtake and collide with the slow one and destroy it.

Hold a hand over the hole and blow a cloud ring. The cloud ring will fall apart before it reaches the ceiling.

Notice the dark donut shaped core in the center of the cloud ring.

The ring is like a tornado vortex curled into a circle "eating its own tail."

Here is a smoke ring blown by Mt. Etna during a volcanic eruption the rings are up to 200 m in diameter.

Coupled Resonant Pendulums

Drawing Board

Rift Zone


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Scientific Explorations with Paul Doherty

© 2006

7 March 2006