Research

Bouncing and Break-Up

In the collage above, successive frames showing the bouncing and break-up of liquid droplets impacting a solid inclined surface coated with a thin layer of high-viscosity fluid have been superposed. This allows one to see the trajectory and deformation of the original droplet as well as its daughter droplets. The impacts vary by Weber number, a dimensionless parameter used to compare the effects of a droplet’s inertia to its surface tension. A larger Weber number indicates inertial dominance, and the Weber number increases from 1.7 in (a) to 15.3 in (d). In the case of (a), the impact of the droplet is such that the droplet does not merge with the layer of fluid on the surface, so the complete droplet rebounds. In cases (b)-(d), there is partial merger between the initial droplet and the fluid layer. The impact flattens the original droplet into a pancake-like layer, which rebounds in a Worthington jet before ejecting several smaller droplets. For more, see Gilet and Bush 2012. (Photo credit: T. Gilet and J. W. M. Bush)

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