Research

The Disintegrating Splash

A droplet falls into a pool, generating a disintegrating blue splash

A drop of blue-dyed glycerine impacts a thin film of isopropanol, creating a spectacular splash and breakup. The drop’s impact flings a layer of the isopropanol into the air, where air currents make the thin sheet buckle inward and break into a spray of droplets. Meanwhile, the liquid from the drop forms a thick, blue crown that rises and expands outward. When tiny droplets of the isopropanol hit the splash crown, their lower surface tension causes the blue glycerine to pull away, due to the Marangoni effect. This opens up holes in the crown, which grow quickly, until the entire sheet breaks apart. (Image and research credit: A. Aljedaani et al., source)

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