Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Drippy Faucets Offer Lesson In Physics

Date:
February 6, 2009
Source:
University of California/Irvine
Summary:
To Peter Taborek, a drippy faucet is a physics experiment. Taborek uses high-speed video to capture the motion of drops and bubbles coming apart. Knowing the details of this "pinch-off" process is important when designing inkjet printers, because ink must form a single droplet without trailing liquid.

Three images, taken approximately 1/10,000 of a second apart, show a drop pinching off from a column of fluid. This process occurs in water from a kitchen sink, but it is too fast to see.
Credit: Images courtesy of Peter Taborek

To Peter Taborek, a drippy faucet is a physics experiment. Taborek uses high-speed video to capture the motion of drops and bubbles coming apart. Knowing the details of this “pinch-off” process is important when designing inkjet printers, because ink must form a single droplet without trailing liquid. It also is useful in biotechnology when fluid is used on microchips, and it has applications in cosmetics, food and structural materials industries.

“When water drips from your kitchen faucet, it spontaneously forms a long filament of fluid that connects to the falling drop,” says Taborek, UC Irvine physics professor. “The connection point shrinks to zero in a characteristic way that we have studied in detail, down to atomic dimensions."

In a recent study, published in the journal Physical Review Letters, Taborek and colleague Justin Burton analyze the pinch-off process of xenon bubbles in water. Xenon gas is used in lamps and lasers and has been used as a general anesthetic.

The scientists discovered the main difference between drops and bubbles is the density of the liquid inside. The pinch-off process is bubble-like until a certain density is reached, then the pinching becomes drop-like.

“In addition to providing amusement for physicists and mathematicians, the pinch-off process in drops and bubbles is a model system to study how one thing turns into two things,” Taborek says. “This is common in nature, ranging from the Big Bang to cell division.”

The National Science Foundation funded this study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California/Irvine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of California/Irvine. "Drippy Faucets Offer Lesson In Physics." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 February 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090201124930.htm>.
University of California/Irvine. (2009, February 6). Drippy Faucets Offer Lesson In Physics. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090201124930.htm
University of California/Irvine. "Drippy Faucets Offer Lesson In Physics." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090201124930.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the industry fell under intense scrutiny. Now, small underground nuclear power plants are being considered as the possible future of the nuclear energy. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show

Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) An electric car that proponents hope will replace horse-drawn carriages in New York City has also been revealed at the auto show. (Apr. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

AFP (Apr. 17, 2014) It walks and runs, even up and down stairs. It can open a bottle and serve a drink, and politely tries to shake hands with a stranger. Meet the latest ASIMO, Honda's humanoid robot. Duration: 00:54 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) German researchers have used a fake fingerprint made from glue to bypass the fingerprint security system on Samsung's new Galaxy S5 smartphone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins