A match being struck is pretty hum-drum event. But what if you could capture the scene using a technique which can visualize the changing air flows around the process? This amazing video is what.
The technique, known as Schlieren flow visualization, allows scientists to see what our eyes can't: the changing density of fluids and gasses, like, in this case, air. So, in this video, the strike of the match sets off a glorious cascade of effects in the air around it—with a cloud-like burst of heat making the air less dense. As the flame burns, buoyancy takes over, and hot air rises, bringing cooler air in—in turn providing fresh oxygen to burn. Ain't it pretty? [RMIT University via Fuck Year Fluid Dynamics]