From Bouncing to Floating: Noncoalescence of Drops on a Fluid Bath

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"From Bouncing to Floating: Noncoalescence of Drops on a Fluid Bath"

Y. Couder, E. Fort, C.H. Gautier, and A. Boudaoud

PRL 94, 177801 (2005)

Soft Matter Keywords

Droplet, coalescence, bounce, float

Overview

(From paper)

When a drop of a viscous fluid is deposited on a bath of the same fluid, it is shown that its coalescence with this substrate is inhibited if the system oscillates vertically. Small drops lift off when the peak acceleration of the surface is larger than g. This leads to a steady regime where a drop can be kept bouncing for any length of time. It is possible to inject more fluid into the drop to increase its diameter up to several centimeters. Such a drop remains at the surface, forming a large sunk hemisphere. When the oscillation is stopped, the two fluids remain separated by a very thin air film, which drains very slowly (30 min ). An analysis using lubrication theory accounts for most of the observations.

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