top of page


The first book, “Patterns in Fluid Flow Paradoxes – Variations on a Theme,” culminated seven years of research into the cause and implications of the simple harmonic (SH) stationary waves he encountered in turbulent arterial flow in compliant-walled arteries (arteriographic standing waves); current scientific understanding was that turbulence represented chaos, not SH order. He linked SH flow-generated sound in boundary layer laminae to the onset of turbulence, proposing that amplification of these transverse sound waves froze laminar slip (laminar interlocking), resulting in a form of plastic flow (Prandtl’s plug flow in cylinder water flow). He discovered unsuspected worldwide contamination of injections by an allergic and toxic contaminant, MBT, which caused anaphyllactic IgE-mediated allergic reactions in some, and cumulative toxicity in others. MBT toxicity was linked to the 1980-81 epidemic of baby deaths at the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children. An image on the front cover of the February 2004 issue of Physics Today showed transverse turbulent flow patterns in cylinders identical to patterns found in by Nikuradse in 1930, and re-launched him into research and writing on transition to turbulence after a lapse of 25 years.

Gavin Hamilton has published the following books on transition to turbulence, “the oldest unexplained problem in Physics” and on MBT, a worldwide allergenic and toxic contaminant of injections, implicated in a 1980-81 epidemic of Toronto hospital baby deaths.

The Nurses are Innocent:
The Digoxin Poisoning Fallacy

Dundurn Press, Toronto, November 2011​

In 1980-81, 43 babies died at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children from a supposed digoxin overdose. Serial murder was suspected, leading to the arrest of nurse Susan Nelles. In order to clear Nelles's name, an investigation was launched to find an alternate explanation: MBT leeching from pharmaceutical rubber (syringes, ampoule seals and IV injection sets).

Click here to read Gavin’s own words describing the sequence of events that led to the authoring of “The Nurses Are Innocent”.







  • In 1993, the Radio-Canada television program Dossiers Mystères - Meurtres ou décès (Mystery Files - Murder or Death) featured a video spotlight on the digoxin fallacy and MBT toxicity, including interviews with Dr. Gavin Hamilton. Click here to watch the video.

This book is available to be purchased from Amazon or Indigo (Chapters).



Boundary Layer Sound Beats

Aylmer Express, June 2022

Most enigmatic phenomena in science have simple solutions. The difficult part is deducing the simple fundamental solutions. The explanation for the phenomenon of gravitation arose when Newton contemplated a falling apple.

Transition to turbulence has remained inexplicable by scientists for centuries. Its spectrum contains multiple unsolved phenomena, each of which have been shown to be  composed of understandable elements. The major clue for this theory was the understanding that in a radiologist’s injection flow phenomenon, arteriographic standing waves, there were simple harmonic (SH) sound waves coexisting with SH fluid shear waves. This proved to be the key to unlocking this explanation for the physical cause of transition to turbulence.

Arteriographic standing waves inspired a search into the fluid dynamics literature for similar examples of SH shear waves coexisting with SH sound, resulting in  the discovery of multiple examples. It then became a complex search for a common denominator - the physics linking SH sound waves, SH fluid shear waves and the onset of turbulent flow.

Boundary Layer Sound Beats explains the steps that led to the conclusion that SH transverse sound waves, created within the T-S wave complex of transition, freeze inter-laminar slip, – first in random foci (turbulent spots) – then widespread, as the phenomenon of turbulent flow erupts.

Revolution in Candy Cane Spin

Aylmer Express, May 2019

The result of a lifetime of investigation and research into turbulent transverse flows in tubes, Dr. Gavin Hamilton presents a logical explanation for what may be one of the last great unsolved mysteries of modern physics. With rich illustrations backing up his research, Dr. Hamilton delivers a compelling addition to scientific literature, published 29 years after his first insights into fluid flow appeared in "Patterns in Fluid Flow Paradoxes: Variations on a Theme."

Patterns in Fluid Flow Paradoxes:
Variations on a Theme

UWO Graphic Services, December 1980

The phenomenon of arteriographic standing waves (AGSWs) in a carotid artery in 1957, during an Internal Medicine residency, evoked an image of both simple harmonic (SH) stationary shear waves – and periodic standing wave sound in what should have been the chaos of turbulent flow. Encountering AGSWs as a radiologist in 1972, spurred research into fundamental fluid dynamics – the physics of transition to turbulence. This 1980 book explains how flow-generated transverse sound might freeze laminar slip, triggering plastic flow, which shifts resistance to the high levels of boundary contact. In December 2021, a Pictorial Summary of this book was created and posted as an article in the Transitions to Turbulence Articles section.
Patterns in Fluid Flow Paradoxes:
Transition to Turbulence

UWO Graphic Services, 2005

A Physics Today computerized transverse tomographic image of turbulent cylinder flow patterns (2004), found by Hof et al, displayed, in each equal sector division, a radial centripetal flow, flanked by a pair of counter-rotating vortices – a signature flow pattern created away from a simple harmonic (SH) sound source.  Similar turbulent transverse flow patterns had been found from the mid portions of each wall of tubes with equilateral cross-sections (Nikuradse 1930).  In 1980, the theory proposed that the T-S oscillations of transition created SH transverse sound, which became amplified by feeding on the flow energy, precipitating the transverse sound patterns responsible for turbulent flow.  SH arterial waves, created by re-echoing transverse sound from a megahertz diagnostic ultrasound transducer (Kroger and Massalha) adds credence to arteriographic standing waves being a manifestation of flow-generated ultrasound of very high frequency.

Coherent Sound Energy in Transition to Turbulence

UWO Graphic Services, May 2008

As the theory evolves, da Vinci’s painting, “The Deluge” imagines turbulent vortices like pieces of carpet rolls (with laminae comprising the carpet). The SPIV computerized transverse slices exhibit steady axial rotation along the cylinder, rotating like laminar discs. A knife blade cutting into the margin of the spiralling exit jet creates the alternating high and low-pressure bands responsible for the SH (musical) sounds of edge tones. Adding SPIV colouring to the longitudinal spiral waves of turbulent cylinder flow creates a candy cane appearance. During transition, in liquid flow, the lamina along a flat plate must have SH waves under the wave crests of boundary layer oscillations (otherwise there would be cavitation in a non-compressible liquid), which are termed sub-boundary layer waves. SH boundary layer flutter waves create SH transverse sound, which causes freezing of laminar slip (laminar interlocking), the physics behind the onset of turbulent flow. Since sound waves are dissipated as heat, the heat of friction along a resistant boundary may be secondary to absorption of sound generated by friction.

Transition to Turbulence:
Dynamic Standing Waves


SH standing waves permeate transition to turbulence, but some are in motion (traveling “standing” waves, an oxymoron). The dynamic boundary layer flutter waves of transition create the SH transverse sound that causes the onset of turbulence. Compliant boundary layer shear waves appear – on dolphin skin at speed, – on water in the wind – in the Reynolds U-tube experiment – and between atmospheric strata (SH cloud waves).  Similar physics creates Kundt’s tube SH particle waves, arteriographic SH standing waves, Thomas’s SH glass bead waves in turbulent cylinder water flow, SH dolphin skin waves, Bagnold’s SH standing waves in sand in turbulent water and air flow rates and SH cloud waves between shearing air strata.

Order in Chaos:
The Physics of Transition to Turbulence

Aylmer Express, August 2011

Four shear waves of transition to turbulence emerge as the theory evolves. The dynamic primary shear waves (which create all others) are boundary layer flutter (BLF) oscillations, created by shear forces (SH grabbing and releasing) along a resistant boundary. Laminae, flowing at their varying speeds along identical paths, act like membranes under tension; these pathways exhibit SH undulations (laminar membrane, or LM waves) along which the laminae flow.  Under the lamina adjacent to the boundary are SH waves, the sub-LM (AKA the sub-BLF) waves under the LM (also the BLF) wave crests. Along compliant boundaries, the sub-LM waves are replaced by compliant boundary (CB) waves.

The Physics of the Sound Barrier, Brownian Motion and Tyndall’s “Sonorous Vibrations”
- A Supplement to Order in Chaos

Aylmer Express June 2013

The theory continues to evolve. The Mach 1 sound barrier is caused by intense amplified sound in anterior portion of the sound cone. The violent sound-wave-induced oscillation of air molecules in the anterior sound cone inhibits laminar flow, creating higher resistance to penetration ("the sound barrier”) by the leading edges, causing compression bands at these sites. The Doppler Effect at Mach 1 causes the pent up energy in the extremely high frequency ultrasound in the anterior sound cone to release in the ultimate example of low frequency sound – one single massive thunderclap vibration – the sonic boom. Current concepts of Brownian motion are challenged because of the immense mass difference between Brownian particles and water molecules. In 1867, Tyndall proposed that SH waves developed in shear flows along boundaries and these waves could be amplified by similar waves in a SH sound (a whistle), triggering turbulence.

Simple Harmonics

Aylmer Express, January 2015


Stationary simple harmonic oscillations in a compliant artery (arteriographic standing waves) suggested sound waves (over 150,000 v.p.s. ultrasound) and coherent fluid shear waves, inspiring a theory that amplified shear-induced coherent sound energy from the dominant flutter waves of transition, causes turbulence, with resistance rising exponentially as the flow rate increases. Transverse coherent sound energy, as standing waves, freezes laminae, creating plastic flow longitudinally. In cylinders, longitudinally frozen laminae allow transverse streaming flows (in the plane of amplified reverberating sound) to display transverse flows in distinctive Taylor streaming turbulence units. In arteries, resonating transverse standing wave sound propagates longitudinally, producing simple harmonic arteriographic standing waves, with the now non-laminar fluid flowing like toothpaste.

bottom of page