Mystery of the dust on the edges of the ceiling fan

Ceiling fan attracts lot of dust, it forms thick border around d blade edges. I observed it under d Foodscope & saw something interesting. It has lot of thin-long threads & dust particles get attached to it.Dust particles must b coming frm vehicles but wht about threads? Where are they coming from? Also there is a difference between amount of deposit on the leading edge than the trailing edge.

Data from various places in India:

Protocol for collecting data:

  1. Before cleaning the Fan
    1. Take photos of the entire fan and closeup of the three/four blades of the fan (as shown below).
    2. Take a sample of dust from leading and trailing edge of the blade by touching the transparent tape two the deposited dust (as shown in the video). Label the samples while sticking the tape on the slides. Observe the samples under the foldscope and take photos. Label the photographs as leading edge or trailing edge. Upload it on microcosmos. While uploading mention- Geo-coordinates, place of the fan (house/shop etc), how many blades it has (?).
  2. After Cleaning the Fan
    1. Clean the fan, note down the date and time of the cleaning.
    2. Keep observing the edges of the blades, if you start seeing dust deposition on the blades note down the date and time and take sample as mentioned above and observe it under the Foldscope and post the photos on microcosmos. While taking the photo do not clean the fan or disturb the deposited dust (take sample with minimum distarbance).
    3. Take sample and observe on day 10, day 20 and day 30.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Manu Prakash says:

    Perfect. Just got the link – will update with several hypothesis and populate it in context of broader community to contribute. Let’s initiate a large scale effort for Diwali cleaning season.

    This post takes me to my child hood days – where I would be sitting on the shoulder of my big brother cleaning all the fans in the house. Never enjoyed it at that time; but now I can laugh about it!


  2. kopc says:

    May be the tiny dust particles oriented themselves to form a thread like structures as in above pictures (I.e centrifugation) or it may be a microscopic organism stayed in the dust bulk

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