The flow of fluids explains how airplanes fly, why a curveball curves, why atherosclerotic plaque clogs arteries, why Jupiter's red spot is changing size, and how hurricanes form. Yet it is difficult to see fluids flowing: you can't see the wind, or ocean currents, without the techniques of flow visualization. Flow visualization reveals an invisible world of fluid dynamics, blending scientific investigation and artistic exploration. The resulting images have inspired, and in some cases themselves become appreciated as, art. At Lafayette College, a sophomore-level seminar in The Art and Science of Flow Visualization exposes students to these techniques and the science of fluid mechanics, and to the photographic methods needed to create effective images that are successful both scientifically and artistically. Unlike other courses in flow visualization, this course assumes no a priori familiarity with fluid flow or with photography. The fundamentals of both are taught and practiced in a studio setting. Students are engaged in an interdisciplinary discourse about fluids and physics, photography, scientific ethics, and historical societal responses to science and art. The development, implementation, and assessment of this team-taught course will be discussed.
You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows: The art and science of flow visualization
Rossmann, J. S. and K. A. Skvirsky (2010) "You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows: The art and science of flow visualization." In 40th ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference (pp. F2F-1 - F2F-4). Piscataway, NJ: IEEE.