Research

Falling Beads

Liquids flowing down a fiber form beads that may be (a) symmetric or (b) asymmetric.

Liquids flowing down a fiber can form bead-like droplets that may sit symmetrically (a) or asymmetrically (b) on the fiber. In general, the asymmetric droplets appear as surface tension increases or as the fiber diameter increases. The pattern of the droplets changes with flow rate. Within each subfigure, the flow rate increases from left to right. At low flow rates, we see only one or two large droplets migrating down the fiber. At moderate flow rates, a regular pattern of drops emerges. And at high flow rates, droplets coalesce on the fiber to form drops large enough that they fall and sweep up the downstream droplets. (Image and research credit: C. Gabbard and J. Bostwick)

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