Phenomena

Bouncing Off Defects

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The splash of a drop impacting a surface depends on many factors — among them droplet speed and size, air pressure, and surface characteristics. In this award-winning video from the 2019 Gallery of Fluid Motion, we see how the geometry of a superhydrophobic surface can alter a splash.

When a drop falls on a protruding superhydrophobic surface, like the apex of a cone, it can be pierced from the inside, completely changing how the droplet rebounds and breaks up. The variations the video walks us through are all relatively simple, but resulting splashes may surprise you nevertheless. (Image and video credit: The Lutetium Project)

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