Alert: Coffee spill (and wine swirl) in Baltimore next Monday

If you’re in Baltimore on Monday, November 21, grab a cup of coffee and (carefully) stop by the American Physical Society meeting. The most exciting session is likely to be:

Session H17: Geophysical Flows: General IV, Monday, November 21, 2011, 11:22 AM–11:35 AM, Room: 320

Chair: Keith Julien, University of Colorado
Abstract: H17.00005 : Walking with coffee: when and why coffee spills

Hans C. Mayer (University of California at Santa Barbara)
Rouslan Krechetnikov [pictured here] (University of California at Santa Barbara)

ABSTRACT: In our busy lives, almost all of us have to walk with a cup of coffee. Needless to say, under certain conditions we spill that precious liquid. This is a common example of the interplay between the mechanics of the complex motion of a walking individual and the fluid dynamics of a low viscosity liquid contained in a cup. We report on the results of an experimental investigation undertaken to explore the particular conditions under which coffee spills. Frame-by-frame analysis of recorded movies helps to elucidate the trajectory of the cup for various walking speeds and initial liquid levels. These kinematics, including both regular and irregular motions, are connected to instances during walking that result in spilled liquid. The coupling between mechanical aspects of walking and the fluid motion are analyzed based on which we determine a basic operational space with which one can confidently walk with cup in hand.

(HT Bill Maloney, from Charles Choi’s piece in Scientific American)

BONUS: ABC-TV news report from January 5, 2011: “Pilot Spills Coffee, Jet Makes Emergency Landing

BONUS: The APS meeting will also have a session about wine swirling:

10:30 AM–12:40 PM, Monday, November 21, 2011, Room: 318

Chair: Vladimir Ajaev, Southern Methodist University

Abstract: H15.00008 : “Oenodynamic”: hydrodynamic of wine swirling

12:01 PM–12:14 PM