Research

Cavity Collapse

One of the most iconic images in fluid dynamics is that of a drop impacting a liquid. When a drop hits a pool, it creates a crater, or cavity. That cavity expands and then collapses to form a jet that rebounds above the pool’s surface. If the jet is fast enough, it will eject one or more droplets before it falls back into the pool. Faster droplets, like the one that formed the cavity and jet shown above, actually create slower and fatter jets. In this regime, the complicated interplay of surface tension and gravity effects results in a jet velocity that is independent of impact speed and the liquid’s viscosity. Understanding this jet and splash dynamics is important for many industrial applications, including ink-jet printing. (Image credit: G. Michon et al.)

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