Abstract Many fish depend primarily on their tail beat for propulsion. Such a tail is commonly modeled as a twodimensional flapping foil. Here we demonstrate a novel experimental setup of such a foil that heaves and pitches in a soap film. The vortical flow field generated by the foil correlates with thickness variations in the soap film, which appear as interference fringes when the film is illuminated with a monochromatic light source (we used a high-frequency SOX lamp). These interference fringes are subse…
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