Research

Entering a Viscous Liquid

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When a solid object impacts on a liquid a cavity typically forms, entraining air into the pool. But this behavior varies widely according to the surface of the solid as well as the fluid’s properties. This video shows a sphere impacting a highly viscous liquid. The sphere stops shortly after impact while the cavity continues expanding in its wake. With a fluid like water, a long and thin cavity will typically pinch off before the object is decelerated, causing bubbles to form. No such behavior here. Instead the wide cavity pinches off at the surface of the motionless sphere and begins its rebound upwards. It even appears to pull the sphere partially back towards the surface! (Video credit: A. Le Goff et al.)

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