What is it about?
How do the forces that are generated when you rub your hands together under water dislodge particles of dirt or bacteria and viruses? Some mathematical modelling of fluid flow reveals the processes responsible, and explains why it requires more than a quick splash under the tap.
Photo by Mélissa Jeanty on Unsplash
Why is it important?
Although people have been washing their hands for millennia, and it's been recognised as important in medical practice since at least the mid 19th century, remarkably, it seems that hand washing has not been studied from a fluid mechanics perspective before. This paper is a first attempt at making such an analysis.
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This page is a summary of: Will we ever wash our hands of lubrication theory?, Physics of Fluids, August 2021, American Institute of Physics, DOI: 10.1063/5.0060307.
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