Spontaneous vortex-splitting in Taylor-Couette flow of polymer solutions —Neil Cagney, Queen Mary University of London

Taylor-Couette flow of a shear-thinning and viscoelastic polymer solution is visualised using white light and a small quantity of mica flakes. As Reynolds number is slowly decreased, vortices spontaneously split and form new pairs. The image is formed by compiling slices of the flow acquired continuously as the cylinder decelerates.