Structure in a Drop Falling from a Faucet

The breakup and control of drops and their satellites

A cascade of structure in a falling water drop. After the drop started to fall, it separated from the liquid at the top leaving behind a long neck. The photograph at the bottom left catches this neck as it is on the verge of forming a second, satellite drop by breaking away from the top plate. The figure on the bottom right is a simulation of this same behavior. In both pictures one can see the intricate cascade of structure on the satellite drop. The breakup and control of drops and their satellites has many technological applications.

approved by S. Nagel, 7/8/95, ed.

Animated gif movie (.5 meg) courtesy Dan Mueth 5/97

Reference:

Author: Shi, X.D.; Brenner, M.P.; Nagel, S.R.
Title: A Cascade of Structure in a Drop Falling from a Faucet
Journal Name: Science
Volume and Issue: Volume 265, Number 5169
Pages: 219
Publishing Date and Year: July 8, 1994