Hydrodynamics: The Bathtub Vortex

HYDRODYNAMICS Busy as they are sending a man to the fringes of space and the to bottom of the sea, routing disease and building bigger and better nuclear bombs. 20th centry scientists still find time for smaller, more mundane problems. One of the smallest: Which way does the water spin when it swirls down the bathtub drain?

Scientists have known—or thought they have known—the answer ever since man has had bathtubs. backgroud information on the subject has been building ever since the greeks advanced the notion that the earth rotates on its axis. Left to itself,...

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