Research

Oil in Alcohol

A drop of oil impacts and falls through a pool of isopropyl alcohol. Momentum, viscosity, and diffusion combine to deform the drop into a shape that is initially like an upside-down wine glass (top image). Because the oil is both denser than the alcohol and soluble in it, the drop sinks and dissolves as it falls. The drop expands rapidly outward, thinning and formed a concave shape around its denser, sinking core (bottom image). Ultimately, the droplet will deform and fragment as it dissolves into the alcohol. (Image credit: R. La Foy et al.)

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