#1 Jan 07, 2020 02:23 am
"The inletting of shower curtains is one of the most annoying things about standing in a bathtub and taking a shower," according to photoshop, which was involved in discussing the "mystery" back in 1938.At the time we thought the phenomenon was caused by the movement of air currents.The hot air generated by the shower tends to rise, while the cold air outside tries to fill the space left by the hot air, thus pushing the bottom of the shower curtain.Saint Jeff of Goldblum Shower Curtain
But there's a flaw in this theory: shower curtains are actually put in during cold showers.What are we missing?Perhaps it is the flow of water from the shower that drives the air around it, causing the pressure to drop.The low pressure inside the shower curtain allows the outside air to fill in.
David Schmidt, a professor of mechanical engineering at the university of Massachusetts at Amherst, decided to test the theory.In 2001, he designed a computer model of the bathroom -- equipped with a shower, bathtub and shower curtain rod -- and found that the flow of the shower stirred the air around it, creating a "slanting dust storm," a mini-storm whose eye was a low-pressure zone.If the water pressure is sufficient and the curtain is not so crisp, the air outside will push the curtain toward the center of the vortex.
It was the most cutting-edge discovery in the field of "shower curtain physics" -- until 2007, when physics teacher Peter Eastwell published an article about an unusual shower he took at an Australian hotel.He adjusted the height of the shower curtain, the water temperature and the distance between the shower and the shower curtain, and found that hot water affected the shower curtain more than cold water.He also found that the effect disappeared when the water was closer or farther from the shower curtain.This is consistent with Schmidt's finding that turbulent water is what stirs up the air.
It would have been up to Schmidt to actually test his computer model, but unfortunately he had lost interest in pursuing this trivial issue further and decided to give up."I'm done with the shower curtain. My wife joked that my epitaph would be shower curtain brother.'"He said.