# Profile of a large drop

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In class we derived the profile $z(x)$ of a large drop as being:

$\sigma_{lv}(\frac{1}{\sqrt{1+\dot{z}^2}}-\cos\theta_e)=\frac{1}{2}\rho g(2ez-z^2)$

where we had defined $e$ as being the maximum height of the drop:

$e=2\kappa^{-1}\sin{\frac{\theta_e}{2}}$

and $\kappa=\sqrt{\frac{\rho g}{\sigma_{lv}}}$ was the inverse capillary length.

To visualize what the edge of a large drop then looks like, you can use the following two MATLAB programs, which will solve and plot the above differential equation. Figure 1 also shows what some of these plots look like.

Figure 1: Drop profiles for various contact angles and using the physical constants given in class.

In class we had a brief discussion as to the nature of the drop's periphery on superhydrophobic surfaces. In the superhydrophobic limit (i.e., as $\theta_e$ approaches 180 degrees), will the edge of the drop have a semicircular shape? The shape is apparently not semicircular at 179 degrees, since the horizontal range of the drop is only 1 mm, while it vertically extends to a height of

$2\kappa\approx 3.5 \text{mm}$

Nevertheless, the bottom left corner of the 179 degree profile does resemble a quarter-circle.