What is it about?

Liquid droplets spread out when they come into contact with a smooth horizontal surface. We present data for the increase of droplet radii during this process. And we compare with theories based on dimensional analysis and on energy conservation.

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Why is it important?

It's commonplace for spreading droplets to remain beaded up, such that their radii approach a final value that is finite; this is called "partial wetting." However, prior works focus almost exclusively on the less usual case of "complete wetting" where droplet radii grows forever without bound. Our work thus fills a crucial gap in the prior understanding.


The first, third, and fourth authors performed experiments at home, in their kitchens, during the COVID-19 pandemic as part of a summer "Research Experience for Undergraduates" program.

Douglas Durian
University of Pennsylvania

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Spatters and spills: Spreading dynamics for partially wetting droplets, Physics of Fluids, January 2022, American Institute of Physics, DOI: 10.1063/5.0077461.
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