The Fluid Universe: Rayleigh-Taylor Instability in Fluid Flow

November 1st, 1992 - July 15th, 1994

Categories: Applications, Supercomputing, Visualization

Visualization of Rayleigh-Taylor Instability
Visualization of Rayleigh-Taylor Instability


This interactive simulation of Rayleigh-Taylor instability shows what happens when a heavier fluid lies on top of a lighter fluid. The gravitational force causes the heavier liquid to form “fluid fingers” that flowed down into the lighter liquid, causing mixing and turbulence. There are many astrophysical objects that show this kind of behavior, such as the remnants of giant explosions called supernova and the atmospheres of some stars.

Scientists viewing this application in the CAVE have achieve a better understanding of the texture (or morphology) of the data produced by the simulations. Specifically, the evolution of small eddies on the sides of the large Rayleigh-Taylor finger are very interesting to observe.

This application was a part of Experiential Science in The Virtual Reality Theater venue at Supercomputing ’93, and VROOM - the Virtual Reality Room event showcased at SIGGRAPH 94.