Decelerating Jets

Fluorescent particles highlight the flow inside a jet.

For more than a century, scientists have been fascinated by the jet that forms after a drop impacts a liquid. In this study, researchers tracked fluorescent particles in the fluid to understand the velocity and acceleration of flow inside the jet. They found that, within the first 10ms after the jet appears, it decelerates at up to 20 times the gravitational acceleration. That’s much too fast for gravity to cause, pointing instead to the critical importance of surface tension in dictating the behavior of these fast-moving jets. (Image and research credit: C. van Rijn et al.; via APS Physics; submitted by Kam-Yung Soh)

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