A flow visualization technique using dilute solutions of tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) is described. Rod-shaped TMV-particles align with shear, an effect that produces a luminous interference pattern when the TMV solution is viewed between crossed polarizers. Attractive features of this technique are that it is both transparent to the naked eye and benign to fish. We use it here to visualize the evolution and decay of the flows that they produce. We also report that dilute solutions of Kalliroscope are moderately birefringent and so may similarly be used for qualitative in situ flow visualizations.
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We thank L. Mendel and B. Chan for assistance with experiments. TMV was kindly donated by S. Winter and M. Schönfelder of German Collection of Microorganisms and cell cultures (DSMZ). We thank Rudi Strickler and Gerald Stubbs for helpful conversations about the limitations of fluid visualization techniques and the physical properties of TMV respectively. T.G. gratefully acknowledges many conversations with the late F. W. Goro about the original photographs. We dedicate this paper to the memory of his pioneering work. J.W.M.B. gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the NSF.
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Hu, D.L., Goreau, T.J. & Bush, J.W.M. Flow visualization using tobacco mosaic virus. Exp Fluids 46, 477–484 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00348-008-0573-6
- Flow Visualization
- Tobacco Mosaic Virus
- Vanadium Pentoxide
- Lead Edge Vortex