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Science

Modeling a White Hole With Your Kitchen Sink 104

Posted by Soulskill
from the fancy-equipment-is-for-wimps dept.
jamie passes along this excerpt from Wired: "That ring of water in your kitchen sink is actually a model white hole. For the first time, scientists have shown experimentally that liquid flowing from a tap embodies the same physics as the time-reversed equivalent of black holes. When a stream of tap water hits the flat surface of the sink, it spreads out into a thin disc bounded by a raised lip, called the hydraulic jump. Physicists’ puzzlement with this jump dates back to Lord Rayleigh in 1914. More recently, physicists have suggested that, if the water waves inside the disc move faster than the waves outside, the jump could serve as an analogue event horizon. Water can approach the ring from outside, but it can’t get in."
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Modeling a White Hole With Your Kitchen Sink

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  • Black Sink (Score:4, Funny)

    by p0p0 (1841106) on Saturday October 16, 2010 @10:20PM (#33921648)
    What if my sink is black? Looks more like a black hole to me. In fact, the whole analogy reminds me of a black hole. Water pours out and spins around meeting at the center before exiting into another dimension which in this analogy, we'll call the "U-Joint".
  • by cjfs (1253208) on Saturday October 16, 2010 @10:23PM (#33921664) Homepage Journal
    ... that our universe is some kid's kitchen science experiment.
  • by reboot246 (623534) on Saturday October 16, 2010 @10:30PM (#33921678) Homepage
    Close, but a 'U-joint' is a universal joint, part of your car's drive train.

    The thingie under your sink is an S-trap.
  • by runningduck (810975) on Saturday October 16, 2010 @10:55PM (#33921752)
    Close, but an S-trap is more likely at the base of your toilet. The thingie under your sink is a P-trap.
  • by martin-boundary (547041) on Saturday October 16, 2010 @10:57PM (#33921762)
    It gets worse. It turns out the kid's name is "Calvin".
  • by Tablizer (95088) on Saturday October 16, 2010 @11:02PM (#33921778) Journal

    ...stellar flares can be modeled via intestinal gas and Jupiter's Great Red Spot can be modeled via severe acne.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 16, 2010 @11:10PM (#33921810)

    Close, but a P-trap is what I call my toilet when it's clogged. The thingie under your sink is a pipe.

  • by Logos (80812) on Saturday October 16, 2010 @11:15PM (#33921826)

    (obligatory Douglas Adams reference [naderlibrary.com])

    "You get this bath, see? Imagine you've got this bath. And it's ebony. And it's conical."

    "Conical?" said Arthur. "What sort of ..."

    "Shhh!" said Ford. "It's conical. So what you do is, you see, you fill it with fine white sand, all right? Or sugar. Fine white sand, and/or sugar. Anything. Doesn't matter. Sugar's fine. And when it's full, you pull the plug out ... are you listening?"

    "I'm listening."

    "You pull the plug out, and it all just twirls away, twirls away you see, out of the plughole."

    "I see."

    "You don't see. You don't see at all. I haven't got to the clever bit yet. You want to hear the clever bit?"

    "Tell me the clever bit."

    "I'll tell you the clever bit."

    Ford thought for a moment, trying to remember what the clever bit was.

    "The clever bit," he said, "is this. You film it happening."

    "Clever," agreed Arthur.

    "You get a movie camera, and you film it happening."

    "Clever."

    "That's not the clever bit. This is the clever bit, I remember now that this is the clever bit. The clever bit is that you then thread the film in the projector ... backward!"

    "Backward?"

    "Yes. Threading it backward is definitely the clever bit. So then, you just sit and watch it, and everything just appears to spiral upward out of the plughole and fill the bath. See?"

    "And that's how the Universe began, is it?" said Arthur.

    "No," said Ford, "but it's a marvelous way to relax."

  • by MarkRose (820682) on Saturday October 16, 2010 @11:17PM (#33921836) Homepage

    Hey, when I was a kid, I had all kinds of "white holes". On my face. Each also ended with a cataclysmic explosion if I pinched it just right.

  • by TwoScoopsOfPig (900069) <twoscoopsofpigNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Saturday October 16, 2010 @11:40PM (#33921904)
    Close, but a pipe is what I was just smoking. The thingie under your sink is a series of tubes (not a big truck).
  • White hole. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Merls the Sneaky (1031058) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @12:19AM (#33922038)

    CAT: So, what is it?
    KRYTEN: I've never seen one before -- no one has -- but I'm guessing it's
        a white hole.
    RIMMER: A _white_ hole?
    KRYTEN: Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. A black hole
        sucks time and matter out of the universe: a white hole returns it.
    LISTER: So, that thing's spewing time back into the universe? (He dons
        his fur-lined hat.)
    KRYTEN: Precisely. That's why we're experiencing these curious time
        phenomena on board.
    CAT: So, what is it?
    KRYTEN: I've never seen one before -- no one has -- but I'm guessing it's
        a white hole.
    RIMMER: A _white_ hole?
    KRYTEN: Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. A black hole
        sucks time and matter out of the universe: a white hole returns it.
    LISTER: (Minus the hat.) So, that thing's spewing time back into the
        universe? (He dons his fur-lined hat, again.)
    KRYTEN: Precisely. That's why we're experiencing these curious time
        phenomena on board.
    LISTER: What time phenomena?
    KRYTEN: Like just then, when time repeated itself.
    CAT: So, what is it?

    They all stare at him.

    CAT: Only joking.
    LISTER: (Suddenly upright, and minus his hat, again) Okay, so it's
        decided then. We consult Holly.
    CAT: Hey, wait a minute -- I missed the discussion!
    RIMMER: (Suddenly on the bench, where the CAT used to be sitting) We all
        did.
    KRYTEN: (Suddenly on the table previously occupied by LISTER) Time is
        occurring in random pockets. The laws of causality no longer apply.
        An action no longer leads to a consequence.
    CAT: (Back on the bench) So, what is it?
    KRYTEN: I think we've experienced this period of time before, Sir.
    CAT: Only joking.
    KRYTEN: And that one. Since we're no longer affected by the laws of
        causality, we can override these time jumps if we concentrate.
    RIMMER: Look, the only way out of this is to consult Holly.
    CAT: (Snaps fingers) I'll go with that.
    KRYTEN: Gets my vote.
    LISTER: Okay, so it's decided then. We consult Holly.
    KRYTEN: Ah, I think we've just encountered the middle of this
        conversation!
    CAT: So, what is it?
    LISTER: Ooh, someone punch him out. Bring Holly up.
    KRYTEN: She only has two minutes left. Perhaps I should talk to her.
    RIMMER: Leave this to me, Kryten. (To terminal) On.

    HOLLY fades into being on the viewscreen.

    RIMMER: (All in one breath) White hole. Spewing time. Engines dead.
        Air supply low. Advise please.
    HOLLY: Excuse me?
    RIMMER: (Again, as though attempting a world record on the most words
        spoken in one breath) White hole. Spewing time. Engines dead.--
    HOLLY: I can't understand a word you're saying.
    RIMMER: White.
    HOLLY: Yes.
    RIMMER: Hole.
    HOLLY: Right.
    RIMMER: Spewing.
    HOLLY: Yes.
    RIMMER: Time.
    HOLLY: With you.
    RIMMER: Engines dead.
    HOLLY: Oh.
    RIMMER: Air supply low.
    HOLLY: Ah.
    RIMMER: Advise please.
    HOLLY: Right.

  • by sjames (1099) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @12:49AM (#33922112) Homepage

    What if my sink is black?

    Hire a maid?

  • Re:Um, No (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 17, 2010 @02:33AM (#33922420)

    i don't have feet, you insensitive clod.

  • by Hamsterdan (815291) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @03:00AM (#33922502)

    Everytime I flush I'm creating a new universe, and it's gonna be a crappy one...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 17, 2010 @04:35AM (#33922790)

    Close, but a series of tubes is the internet. The thingie under your sink is a thirsty unemployed dwarf named Henry.

  • by mcneely.mike (927221) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @05:40AM (#33922962)

    you left out the funny bit.

    So what is it?

    (Dons furry hat)

    Close, but a 'U-joint' is a universal joint, part of your car's drive train.

    The thingie under your sink is an S-trap.

    Close, but an S-trap is more likely at the base of your toilet. The thingie under your sink is a P-trap.

    Close, but a P-trap is what I call my toilet when it's clogged. The thingie under your sink is a pipe.

    Only joking.

  • by BertieBaggio (944287) <bob AT manics DOT eu> on Sunday October 17, 2010 @06:24AM (#33923084) Homepage

    As usual, Red Dwarf has it covered: White Hole, from Meltdown [youtube.com].

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 17, 2010 @10:57AM (#33924288)

    I wonder if they're going to add this to the next version of Nethack?

  • by nacturation (646836) * <nacturation AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday October 17, 2010 @04:51PM (#33926526) Journal

    Their follow-up article: How to Model a Brown Hole Using Your Toilet.

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