Experiments in Fluids

, Volume 42, Issue 1, pp 41–48

Microscale Synthetic Schlieren


    • Department of MathematicsMassachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Roman Stocker
    • Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringMassachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Thomas Peacock
    • Department of Mechanical EngineeringMassachusetts Institute of Technology
Research Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00348-006-0217-7

Cite this article as:
Yick, K., Stocker, R. & Peacock, T. Exp Fluids (2007) 42: 41. doi:10.1007/s00348-006-0217-7


We develop the axisymmetric Synthetic Schlieren technique to study the wake of a microscale sphere settling through a density stratification. A video-microscope was used to magnify and image apparent displacements of a micron-sized random-dot pattern. Due to the nature of the wake, density gradient perturbations in the horizontal greatly exceed those in the vertical, requiring modification of previously developed axisymmetric techniques. We present results for 780 and 383 μm spheres, and describe the limiting role of noise in the system for a 157 μm sphere. This technique can be instrumental in understanding a range of ecological and environmental oceanic processes on the microscale.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006