Dancing Droplets

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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.

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