Phenomena

Bouncing on a Pool

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There’s something wonderfully serene about watching water droplets skate their way across the surface of a pool. Here the pool of water is being vibrated at a frequency just below the Faraday instability – meaning that no standing waves form on the surface. Instead, the bounce is just enough to create a thin layer of air between the droplet and the pool to prevent coalescence. With each bounce, gravity’s effect on the water tries to drain the air away, but each rebound lets more air rush in to hold the droplet up. Eventually, gravity wins and the droplets coalesce into the pool. In high-speed that process is mesmerizing, too. (Video credit: K. Welch)

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