Phenomena

Ejecting Drops

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Large droplets ejected from a liquid pool do not coalesce immediately back into the whole.  Instead, a thin layer of air gets trapped beneath them, much like the oil lubricating bearings.  The weight of the droplet causes the air to drain away, and eventually the droplet comes in contact with the pool. Some of the droplet gets drained away before surface tension snaps the interface back into a low energy state. A new smaller droplet then bounces upward before repeating the process over again. Eventually the droplet becomes small enough that its entire mass gets sucked away by the pool. Researchers call this process the coalescence cascade.

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