The coalescence cascade meets Marangoni


The flows generated when a water drop merges with an alcohol bath.

When a water drop coalesces into a puddle or pond, the dynamics is much more rich than casual observation would suggest. High-speed video imaging reveals that instead of simply disappearing into the underlying bath, it undergoes a series of partial coalescence events in which the droplet radius decreases by roughly 50 percent (Blanchette and Bigioni 2006). In Blanchette, Messio and Bush (2006) , we examine the role of surface tension gradients on the coalescence cascade.

“All know that the drop merges into the ocean,

but few know that the ocean merges into the drop.”

– Kabir


For a clip of our appearance on Discovery Channel’s Time Warp, see the video below.

PRESS:  New York Times