Coalescing Drops

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This year’s Nikon Small World in Motion competition was won by fluid dynamics! The first place video shows droplets on a superhydrophobic surface coalescing. The droplets are a mixture of water and ethanol. Their initial merger creates a ripple of waves that’s followed by a ghostly vortex ring that jets into the interior. Previous research on coalescence during impact shows jets driven by surface tension but the jet here doesn’t appear to be confined to the surface. (Image and video credit: K. Rabbi and X. Yan; via Nature; submitted by Kam-Yung Soh)

Droplets on a superhydrophobic surface coalescing.

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