Shooting Droplets

This animation shows high-speed video of a polystyrene particle striking a falling water droplet. Under the right conditions, the particle rips through the droplet, stretching the water into a bell-shaped lamella extending from a thicker rim. When the particle detaches, surface tension rapidly collapses the lamella into a ring which destabilizes. Thin ligaments and droplets fly off the crown-like ring as momentum overcomes surface tension’s ability to hold the droplet together. Be sure to check out the full video on YouTube or later next month at the APS Division of Fluid Dynamics meeting. (Yes, I will be there!) (Image credit: V. Sechenyh et al., source video)

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