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A theory wrapped in an offensive weapon wrapped in a doughnut.
  [vote for,

Vortex rings can be made and controlled by dolphins and whales for play.
This trait seems to be a learned one rather than an instinctive behavior and is far more prevalent in the female of the species than in the males.
As far as I have been able to find this is attributed to the males being more interested in their own social structure and just can't be bothered to learn how make them on their own.

I think that this assumption is a mistake.

So the theory potion of this idea is that the smaller female porpoise are able to reach and maintain auditory frequencies that are more difficult or impossible for most of the males to create.

Humans can create vortex rings in water as well and there are patents pending on exactly how it is done but these vortex rings are not maneuverable in the way that they are for porpoise.

I propose that the dolphins use sound waves to either tap and amplify sound waves within the spinning troroidal column of air from its outside in much the same way that we would roll a hoop along the ground with taps of a stick, or they rotate an emitted cone of sound from within the center of the vortex ring to control its movement in the way we would control a hula hoop.

Perhaps they do both simutaneously.

Porpoise would then be limited as to the size, cohesiveness and range of these rings based upon the distance of the rings from the porpoise themselves.
Once we learn the frequency and focal point of the sound-waves produced to keep these rings cohesive, we should be able to direct gaseous torus shapes over vast distances through almost any medium by changing the pitch and the shape of the emitter.
Cutting the sound waves would cause air rings to lose cohesion and rise to the surface within water.

Directing a large continuous stream of these rings along the sternward path of a ship would have the same effect as a directed depth charge, as a portion of the hull would then become supported by nothing more than bubbles, causing a ship or sub to dive or break in half.

Normally I wouldn't post an idea that I could only think up an offensive use for, but... if I thought of it then it means that some other schmuck is already tinkering with it and it should be a fairly easy attack to counter as long as there is a heads up.

I also feel that there are incredible applications for these ring phenomena using waves within substances other than air and water, but the logical starting point to me seems to be trying to mimic what the dolphins are doing.


Anybody out there in the auditory sciences have a buddy that works at an aquarium?...
or vice versa?

just about everything you wanted to know http://bubblerings....bblerings/media.cfm
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Jul 23 2011]

Head on...apply directly to the vortex. http://www.youtube....watch?v=XJk8ijAUCiI
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Jul 24 2011]


       I see no reason to think that the rings are being manipulated by anything other than the dolphin's body--no sound waves needed. They seem to be pushing the vortexes with their domes, and spinning them with their snout tips.   

       If the proposed sound waves could be used to manipulate dirty great vortexes, there's still nothing to say that the vortex could harm a ship better than the same amount of effort applied some other way.   

       Neatly-directed sound waves, on the other hand, might be able to do some damage. Or maybe make for good sonar. [ ]
baconbrain, Jul 23 2011

       pst... wepaon sp in subtitle :-)
xenzag, Jul 23 2011

       There's a wonderfull idea for spaceship propulsion in here somewhere.
zeno, Jul 23 2011

       //I see no reason to think that the rings are being manipulated by anything other than the dolphin's body//   

       If that were so, then divers should be able to manipulate vortex rings and make them travel horizontally and this does not seem to be the case. Something is missing from the equation.
Sound waves seem like an obvious statring point to me.

       //too many "proposes" for me.//
Welcome to my world...
I whittled them down. Cool link.

       Thank you Mr. [zag]. Fixed.   

       //spaceship propulsion// Baby steps [zeno], baby steps.   

       Here's another really cool [link] about ring collisions.

       Bun for the subtitle alone. [+]
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Jul 24 2011

       // Sound waves seem like an obvious statring point //   

       Statrings ? Go look up "soliton wave" ...
8th of 7, Jul 24 2011

       // divers should be able to manipulate vortex rings and make them travel horizontally //   

       I've an Airzooka that makes vortex rings travel horizontally a fair treat. Divers can't travel very fast, and aren't really adept at manipulating water.   

       I've seen a vid where the dolphin sticks his beak up near a ring, twirls his head and re-shapes the ring. I have never seen anything to make me think that dolphins use sound to affect rings, nor any evidence that any sound affects anything like a vortex ring.   

       This is too far off in supposition land for me. [ ]
baconbrain, Jul 24 2011

       //statring point// unintentional pun,
or was it?...
As for soliton waves, they sir are cruel and unusual punishment for the mathemtically uninitiated to try and dive into.
I can visualize them, but the equations have me feeling lost after the third hyperlink.

       soon-ish... - ish.   

       I don't much leave supposition land [baconbrain]. If you watch that video you are talking about closely you will see the smaller ring, broken off of the larger ring by the dolphin, grow in size until it is aproximately the same size as the original ring and yet also change direction.
Yes the dolphin releases more air first, but what draws these air bubbles into the ring in the first place? If it is just cyclonic action then why does the ring change direction and travel effortlessly against the draw of bouyancy?

       An air vortex launcher can create horizontal rings in air, and horizontal liquid vortex rings can be created in a liquid,... so why haven't we figured out how to create and control sustainable gaseous votrex rings in a liquid in the same way they can.
What are we missing?

       There is no; too far off into supposition land... and someone out there has the wherewithall to check this out if they so choose.   

       // What are we missing? //   

       Need. Incentive. Usefulness. Speed in water. Smoothness in water. Manipulation of water. Injectors of air. Practice.   

       I've made some fascinating air-filled vortexes using a canoe paddle, all near the surface. With practice and better equipment, I am sure I could make air-filled vortexes under water. I simply haven't tried to--the closest I got was telling my niece how to blow bubble rings up from the bottom of a swimming pool, and her telling me it worked (I never saw it or did it).   

       There are reason we haven't done bubble rings, besides (supposedly) not realizing sound waves are needed.
baconbrain, Jul 25 2011

       // Need. Incentive. Usefulness. Speed in water. Smoothness in water. Manipulation of water. Injectors of air. Practice. //   

       Yes, yes, but apart from the obvious ...
8th of 7, Jul 25 2011

       : ] Exactly.   

       The field of fluid dynamics is rather intensely studdied but nobody has played around with trying to manipulate vortex rings yet?


       I've thought of several applications for directed gas rings in a liquid medium over the last couple of days, and if someone had connected the dots that make this work it would be in use today.   

       So I had to check this out.   

       I managed to make a passable vortex ring launcher in water.
I can make the rings travel several feet but they are only visible by the shadows cast from their ripples as they surface.
I then managed to incorporate air into them and make tiny bubbles swirl horizontally in a toroid shape.
The air needs to be introduced after the formation of the vortex ring and there is a ballancing act between the amount and size of bubbles introduced that a certain sized vortex ring can capture without disrupting it.

       What I can't seem to do is to make a ring, fill it with air and then use pressure waves to deflect its trajectory before it loses cohesion.   

       Something they are doing is amplifying the cohesiveness of the rings they make.   

       Well that blows...   

       What if it was a 40,000 gallon bathtub, a 5 gallon launcher with a compressed air injection system and a garbage can lid for the fart swatting?   

       Would it count then?   

       I 'did' manage to make laterally travelling bubble rings and think I could design a handheld toy gun version that would let kids play underwater air tag if nothing else.
I keep thinking about how sound waves travel at different speeds in water as opposed to air, and that the sound waves would bounce off of a column of air underwater. If the emission of sound were central to the toroid and a certain pitch maintained then a standing wave pattern could be created in the water using the convergence of waves echoing from the ring.
Maybe even within the ring itself.

       I'll give it a rest now. I just think it bears looking into is all.   

       Air pockets effecting the behavior of sound waves underwater; there's a really interesting idea hidden in there somewhere...   

       Give me a while.
Alterother, Jul 31 2011


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