Phenomena

Morphing Particle Rafts

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A layer of tiny glass beads sitting atop a pool of castor oil becomes a morphing surface in this video. Applying an electric field creates enough electrostatic force to draw the interface upward against the power of both gravity and surface tension. Moving the electric field — either by shifting the electrode or simply moving a finger over the surface — is enough to pull columns of fluid along! I could imagine this making some very cool human-machine interfaces one day. (Image and video credit: K. Sun et al.)

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