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[科学美国人60秒] 【整理】SSS 2008-07-08

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This is Scientific American's 60-Second Science,I'm Cynthia Graber. This will just take a minute.

 

 

Whales and dolphins were molded by evolution to glide through water. We've been trying to create stream line designs ourselves for structure such as wind turbine blades. Now researchers are examining the flippers,fins and tails about water dwelling cousins to learn how to improve engineering designs. Dr. Frank Fish,yes,that's really his name,from from West Chester University in Pennsylvania, presented this research July 8th at the Society for Experimental Biology's annual meeting in  Marseille.Here is one example of the way Dr.Fish's research is being applied.

 


Whale flippers have a bumpy edge. This makes little sense to engineers.They've designed structures like wings and blades that ensure a steady air flow. But it turns out the unsteady flow over this more complex shape increases lift and reduces drag much better than any previous man-made design.It has to do with something called water seas. These are small tornado-shaped water formations in an animal's wake.The bumps on a whale's flipper help form water seas that generate more lift, more smoothly. Engineers are using this insight to design an entirely new wind turbine blade,so that we can generate power from wind,as efficiently as whales and dolphins fly through the water.

 

 

Thanks for the minute.For Scientific American's 60-Second Science,I'm Cynthia Graber.

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