posted on Oct, 12 2008 @ 10:07 PM
reply to post by argentus
Argentus is right. The particulate matter from the burning of the cigarette is responsible for the patterns in the air.
Breath is generally a cloud shape and doesn't form the channels or streams of matter than a burned substance does.
Taking the OP photo and inverting it (as well as some contrast adjustment) shows the streams of particles that can only come from something burning.
Your breath cannot produce this. I will explain why in a moment.
Applying the same editing to one of the above 'breath' pictures we can see the difference in distribution for water vapor.
The laminar layers and bands in the OP picture suggest that there is particle matter heavier than water vapor in the picture. Your breath does not
form these distinct streams within the dispersal. This can be the result of electrostatic forces keeping the matter together. The general foggy
quality of the smoke could be caused by water vapor from the breath on cold air, the flash of the camera, and how long the smoke has lingered. The
force used to exhale the smoke also has an affect on the distribution.
If someone can find a picture of cold breath forming the bands of layers I would like to see it. Otherwise, my bet is on smoke.
To explain further...
Breath doesn't form the layers seen in the OP photo because it lacks the particle size and density difference seen in smoke. Pure laminar flow can
be seen in a lit cigarette. The smoke rises upwards in a narrow band and then begins to disperse when the velocity of the rising air rolls over the
air above it, creating vorticies and eddies. The bands and layers are formed because larger, slower moving particles tend to move towards the
outside, while smaller, faster particles move through the center. This is why the edges of smoke appear more solid than breath. The slow particles
pile up next to each other, creating an easy to see layer.
Breathing out water vapor will not produce this visible effect. This picture is most likely a mix of the exhalation of smoke and the burning of the
cigarette while it was not being smoked. Again, if someone can find a pic or explanation for why water vapor could produce that effect I'd love to
[edit on 12-10-2008 by Parabol]