This high-speed video shows the remarkable resilience of a water droplet upon impact against as a solid surface. The droplet deforms into a pancake-shape, with its center depressing almost flat before rebounding upward. The rest of the drop follows, splitting into several droplets as capillary waves dance across its surface. When one satellite drop almost escapes, the main droplet just barely comes in contact with it, the coalescence enough to tip surface tension into pulling them together instead of breaking them apart. (Video credit: K. Suh/ChemistryWorldUK)
There’s something wonderfully serene about watching water droplets skate their way across the surface of a pool. Here the pool of water is being vibrated at a frequency just below the Faraday instability - meaning that no standing waves form on the surface. Instead, the bounce is just enough to create a thin layer of air between the droplet and the pool to prevent coalescence. With each bounce, gravity’s effect on the water tries to drain the air away, but each rebound lets more air rush in to hold the droplet up. Eventually, gravity wins and the droplets coalesce into the pool. In high-speed that process is mesmerizing, too. (Video credit: K. Welch)
This high-speed video shows the behavior of oil on a vibrating surface. As the amplitude of the vibration is altered various behaviors can be observed. Initially small waves appear on the surface of the oil, then the surface erupts into a mass of jets and ejected droplets, reminiscent of a vibrated interfaces within a prism or vibration-induced atomization. When the amplitude is reduced after about half a minute, we see Faraday waves across the surface, as well as tiny droplets that bounce and skitter across the surface. They are kept from coalescing by a thin layer of air trapped between the droplet and the oil pool below. Because of the vibration, the air layer is continuously refreshed, keeping the droplet aloft until its kinetic energy is large enough that it impacts the surface of the oil and gets swallowed up.
When a dropletimpacts a pool at low speed, a layer of air trapped beneath the droplet can often prevent it from immediately coalescing into the pool. As that air layer drains away, surface tension pulls some of the droplet’s mass into the pool while a smaller droplet is ejected. When it bounces off the surface of the water, the process is repeated and the droplet grows smaller and smaller until surface tension is able to completely absorb it into the pool. This process is called the coalescence cascade.
Three impinging jets of silicone oil rebound without coalescence due to thin-film lubrication between the jets. The motion of the oil replenishes the thin layer of air separating the streams. The same phenomenon keeps droplets from coalescing as well. (Photo credit: BIF Lab, Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics, Virginia Tech) #
When a droplet falls onto a larger pool of the same liquid, it briefly sits on a layer of air that prevents coalescence. When that air drains away, the coalescence cascade—in which the droplet breaks into progressively smaller droplets until fully absorbed—begins. But if you vibrate the pool of liquid, the droplet bounces, effectively injecting more air between it and the pool. This prevents coalescence. What’s really neat here is that the researchers demonstrate this effect with arrays of droplets dancing in formation.