>>>>> "k" == khatcat <khatcat@xxxxxxxxxxx> writes:
k> This morning, I was stirring my hot chocolate when I noticed that
k> the froth on the top of my hot chocolate looked a lot like a spiral
k> galaxy. It had a central bulge (containing the bigger bubbles) and
k> occasionally sprouted spiral arms. Are the same forces /
k> principles at work in galaxy formation as stirred hot chocolate?
Generally, no. A system of stars, like a galaxy, is governed by
a long-range force (gravity) and is collionless (i.e., stars rarely
collide in a galaxy). In contrast, a beverage is an example of
collional physics, in which the particles are constanly colliding.
Having said that, one can obtain quite similar patterns. For
instance, in a recent review article, Sandage (<URL:
>) describes how to stir coffee and add cream to it in a way to mimic
various galaxy patterns.
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