Levitating Droplets with Motion

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There are many ways to levitate a droplet – heating, vibration, and acoustic levitation all come to mind – but this video demonstrates a simpler method: a moving wall. Depositing a drop on a moving wall keeps it aloft with a thin, constantly replenished layer of air. The thickness of this lubricating air film is directly measurable from interference fringes created by light reflecting off the surface of the drop. Incredibly, the air layer is only a few microns thick, but the resulting pressure in the air film is high enough to levitate millimeter-sized droplets! (Video credit: M. Saito et al.; via @AlvaroGuM)

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