Research

Dynamic Leidenfrost Impact

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The Leidenfrost effect occurs when a liquid encounters a solid object much hotter than the liquid’s boiling point, like when water skitters on a hot griddle or someone plunges a hand in liquid nitrogen.  A thin layer of vapor forms between the liquid and the solid, thereby (briefly) insulating the remaining liquid. The Leidenfrost effect can be static–like a droplet sitting on a pan–or dynamic, like the video above in which a droplet impacts the hot object.  The video shows both a top and a side view of a droplet striking a plate that is over five times hotter than the liquid’s boiling point.  On impact, the droplet spreads and flattens, and a spray of even tinier droplets is ejected before rebound. (Video credit: T. Tran and D. Lohse, from a review by D. Quere)

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