On the ocean, countless crashing waves are creating bubbles. When they burst, those bubbles generate jets and droplets that spray into the sky, carrying sea salt, dust, and biological material into the atmosphere. Researchers know these droplets and their evaporation are important for understanding environmental processes, but figuring out how to capture that importance in models continues to be a challenge.
In a new study, researchers concentrated on a simplified problem: the bursting of a single bubble in pure water. By studying a wide range of conditions, the team found that jets from these bubbles could eject as many as 14 droplets apiece. And though existing models have mostly ignored all but the first droplet, their work showed that all of the droplets should be accounted for in any evaporation models. (Image credit: C. Couto; research credit: A. Berny et al.)