Slow Mo Espresso

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High-speed photography gives us an alternate glimpse of reality. Here it provides an all-new perspective on making espresso. Surface tension plays a starring role, first in pulling together the film that forms over the exit, then in creating the drips and drops that follow. The break-up of espresso into individual droplets is an example of the Plateau-Rayleigh instability, where surface tension drives any wobble in the falling jet to pinch off. For more slow-motion espresso, you can also check out this behind-the-scenes video. (Video and image credit: J. Hoffmann; submitted by Jerrod H.)

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