Skip to comments.A Whale of a Design (whale fin design used to build more efficient turbines)
Posted on 06/06/2009 7:15:28 AM PDT by GodGunsGuts
Where do inventions come from? Where do scientists find ideas to improve existing technology? Increasingly, the marvels of lifefrom the microscopic to the massiveinspire engineering breakthroughs. Knowingly or not, scientists are imitating Gods own incredible designs.
His first encounter with the humpback whale fin at a sculpture gallery drove biologist Frank Fish to study the strange design. Puzzled by the fins bumpy leading edge, he first thought the sculptor had made a mistake. Learning that the sculptor was right, Fish spent years studying the design, which defies traditional theories that would suggest a smooth edge.
In his researchlater confirmed by a team of Harvard scientistsFish determined that the fins bumps, known as tubercles, allow it to...
(Excerpt) Read more at answersingenesis.org ...
Nice post. Thanks.
Thanks for the ping!
Very interesting. I have sailed all my life, and take an interest in aerodynamic and fluid dynamic design of sails and hulls. This is something new to me—evidently new to designers as well.
I wonder if you could try this on a sailboat—put little bumps on the leading edge of the keel and rudder? Maybe a bit of sand in the bottom paint on those parts of the boat?
I also like the name of the scientist: Dr. Fish. An instance of a name influencing a career, I suspect.
I also sail. And I am quit surprised that I didn’t make the connection to sailing. I think I will mention it to the guys down at my sailing club and see what they think.
There’s a good article at http://biomechanics.bio.uci.edu/_html/nh_biomech/whaleturn/whaleturn.htm
It’s not so much “bumps” as a serrated leading edge
A lot of the aerodynamic and hydrodynamic surfaces that occur in nature do lead the way, but are sometimes hard to produce in our more linear world.
One of the major achievements in the sub world was the 5 axis milling machine that could make those wonderfull propellors and surface them.
We are just trying to catch up with the Creator(we never will but he intended that we have fun trying).
Where do inventions come from? Where do scientists find ideas to improve existing technology?
Sometimes discoveries are random and accidental. The first golf balls were compacted feathers wrapped with a tight, smooth leather skin. Golfers discovered that as the balls got worn and the skin on the balls became rough, the balls went farther. Soon, golf balls were manufactured with small bumps on them. Later, dimples were found to work even better.
Yeah, I was afraid it wasn’t something you could do in a one-design class. Putting a serated edge on your keel would be cheating.
OK, but before you do, see 9 and 12.
I was going to add the same connection. I defer, however, to your more elegant contribution.