A vortex ring is the phenomenon where a quantity of fluid or gas in a toroid (donut) shape, travels through a medium of fluid or gas, while spinning like a thick circular bracelet that is being rolled off of a person’s arm. (Except the spin is in the opposite direction as when a bracelet is rolled off in this way.)
Luke Jerram is a colorblind artist based in the UK. Aeolus is a sonic creation that blends acoustic physics, inspirations from classical civilizations, and visual adventure. The arch is a large Aeolian harp, an ancient instrument that uses the wind’s vibration on strings to send a frequency down a long metal tube.
A listener in the center of the arch experiences sounds transmitted from a field of taut strings and naturally harmonic open tubes. In addition, the angle of light transmitted through the polished pipes creates an altered listening environment. The experience can change by the minute or hour depending on wind conditions.
The tightened strings vibrate due to something called the von Karman vortex street effect, where the vortex created behind a string causes it to vibrate. It’s similar to what happens when a car antenna begins to sing in the wind.