Droplet Bounce

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Water droplets don’t always immediately disappear into a pool they’re dropped onto. If the droplet is small and doesn’t have much momentum, it will join the pool gradually through a process known as the coalescence cascade, seen here in high speed video. The droplet bounces off the surface, then settles. A thin layer of air is caught between it and the pool. Slowly the weight of the drop pushes that air out until there is contact between the drop and pool. Before the drop can merge completely, though, surface tension pinches it off, creating a smaller daughter droplet. Ripples caused by the merger help bounce the little droplet, which repeats the same process until the tiniest droplet merges completely. (Video credit: B. ter Huume)

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