The whirling helical structure obtained when pouring honey onto toast may seem like an easy enough problem to solve at breakfast. Specifically, one would hope that a quick back-of-the-envelope scaling argument would help rationalize the observed behaviour and predict the coiling frequency. Not quite: Multiple forces come into play, both in the part of the flow stretched by gravity and in the coil itself, which buckles and bends like a rope. In fact, the resulting abundance of regimes requires the careful numerical continuation method reported by Ribe (J. Fluid Mech., vol. 812, 2017, R2) to build a complete phase diagram of the problem and untangle this sticky situation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering
- interfacial flows (free surface)
- nonlinear dynamical systems