Blue Ice

We’re trying to make science cool, dude
Tory Bellachi

Wow.  That’s the first show in quite some time that the Mythbusters talked some science and I didn’t get terribly frustrated with them.

The talked about the effect of the boundary layer when guessing why the blue ice stops growing at a certain point.  I touched on boundary layers in a previous post on the Magnus force, and I don’t have a huge problem with anything Grant said.  I’d just like to point out that the boundary layer is not absent over the blue ice; the blue ice has a boundary layer all its own.  It’s just that the boundary layer doesn’t have as much time to grow as it does on the fuselage.  So the shear stress will likely be stronger than it would be if the ice weren’t there.

Also they talked about stoichiometry a bit, which isn’t my strong point, and I can’t verify that the stoichiometric ratio for methane is 9%, but it sounded like they knew what they were talking about.  Being Mythbusters and all, I thought it would have been interesting if they hadn’t trusted the 9% value; I would have liked to see small-scale test results at higher proportions of methane to confirm the blasts actually became less energetic.

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