A Cascade of Structure in a Drop Falling from a Faucet

By Sung Hoon Kang

Title: A Cascade of Structure in a Drop Falling from a Faucet

Reference: X. D. Shi, M. P. Brenner, S. R. Nagel, Science 265, 219-222 (1994).

Soft matter keywords

viscosity, capillary length, drop cascade

Abstract from the original paper

A drop falling from a faucet is a common example of a mass fissioning into two or more pieces. The shape of the liquid in this situation has been investigated by both experiment and computer simulation. As the viscosity of the liquid is varied, the shape of the drop changes dramatically. Near the point of breakup, viscous drops develop long necks that then spawn a series of smaller necks with ever thinner diameters. Simulations indicate that this repeated formation of necks can proceed ad infinitum whenever a small but finite amount of noise is present in the experiment. In this situation, the dynamical singularity occurring when a drop fissions is characterized by a rough interface.

Soft matter example

(not finished yet)

Every morning, one goes to a restroom to wash his/her face by using water from a faucet. Some of you may have noticed that when water drips from a faucet, its shape changes from a single mass of fluid into two or more drops. This phenomenon is one of the examples of a singularity in which physical quantities become discontinous in a finite time [1].

The authors of this paper studied the shape of the singularity for fluids of different viscosity dripping through air from a cylindrical nozzle. We can consider three independent length scales that characterizes the hydronamics of the dripping faucet [2]: i) the diameter of the nozzle (D); ii) the capillary length Lγ = (γ/ρg)1/2, which is obtained from the balance between the surface tension γ, and the gravitational force ρg (ρ: the fluid density, g: the acceleration of gravity); and iii) the viscous length scale Lη = η2/ργ (η: viscosity). For water, Lη ~ 10 nm [3].

References

(not finished yet)

1. A. Pumir and E. D. Siggia, Phys. Rev. Lett. 68, 1511-1514 (1992).

2. J. Eggers and T. F. Dupont, J. Fluid Mech. 262, 205-221 (1994).

3. D. H. Peregrine, G. Shoker, A. Symon, J. Fluid Mech. 212, 25-39 (1990).