Supercomputers Solve a Mystery Hidden Inside Merging Water Droplets

Live Science | 3/26/2019 | Staff
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A team of British physicists and mathematicians used a supercomputer to uncover the hidden truth of how water droplets merge and stick together.

If you've ever watched water droplets touch and merge, you might have imagined two little balls of water getting closer and closer together, until their surfaces overlapped and surface tension pulled the distinct balls together into a single, rough whole. That's what's visible to the naked eye. But a new simulation using a supercomputer, published March 13 in the journal Physical Review Letters, paints a much more complicated picture.

Researchers - Surface - Effect - Results - Fluctuations

Researchers call this surface rippling effect, which results from the thermal fluctuations of the molecules, "thermal capillary waves." The ripples are too small and fast in this case for any natural experiment to spot. But the simulation showed that the teensy waves reach out to one another, forming the leading edge of the nearing water droplets. The surface tension of the droplets (the cohesive force that keeps the droplets in their "droplet" shape) suppresses the...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Live Science
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