Hydrophobic Water Entry

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Many factors can affect the size and shape of the splash when an object impacts water and wettability–the ability of a liquid to maintain contact with a solid–is one of them. Here a sphere coated in a hydrophobic (water-repellent) nano-layer impacts water, creating a large air, streaky air cavity and a substantial splash.  Contrast this with the behavior of a hydrophilic sphere entering the water, and you can imagine divers might want to invest in some hydrophilic coatings prior to the London Olympics. (Video credit: L. Bocquet et al)

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