Propolis

bees, honey and other sticky subjects

Sunday, October 10, 2004

The velocity of honey


I've just come across a fairly new book: The Velocity of Honey and more science of everyday life. The author Jay Ingram homes in some intriguing phenomena that we frequently encounter.

Take honey, for example. Have you ever noticed how it drizzles on to your morning toast. It doesn't flow out evenly in all directions. How it spreads is affected by the distance between the spoon and the toast -- which affects the velocity of the honey. It falls as a spiralling stream, an ever-folding ribbon, or just plain drops. Jay Ingram explains why. He also tells how when honey is about to fall in a drop, it is still connected by a neck to the honey above. We can see that with the naked eye. But what we don't see and what high-tech photography reveals is that as the neck appears to break, another much narrower strand appears -- and so on, possibly ad infinitum or perhaps until the strand is only one or two molecules thick.

There's lots more in the book from why strange journeys seem longer on the way out than on the way back to the physics of ‘ducks and drakes’ and why time seems to pass faster as we grow older. The book is designed be read in droplets -- a good read.

You can buy or find out more about the book on Amazon.com here or Amazon.co.uk here. And if you do make a purchase via these links, you'll do me a great favour because I'll receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

2 Comments:

Blogger Cat said...

How does Amazon.com work if I go to the US sight from your link?

12:33 pm  
Blogger Turlough said...

That's a good question that I'm still trying to figure out.

I've become an "Amazon Associate". That means that I receive a small commission if someone buys a book through one of the Propolis links to Amazon -- at no extra cost to the purchaser. But I think I'll have to set up a separate account and link to Amazon.com (and any other countries) for purchasers outside the UK.

Turlough

12:43 pm  

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