Latest Drop Stories

Quenching World's Water And Energy Crises One Droplet At A Time
2014-07-28 03:56:55

Sarah Bates, National Science Foundation In the Namib Desert of Africa, the fog-filled morning wind carries the drinking water for a beetle called the Stenocara. Tiny droplets collect on the beetle's bumpy back. The areas between the bumps are covered in a waxy substance that makes them water-repellant, or hydrophobic (water-fearing). Water accumulates on the water-loving, or hydrophilic, bumps, forming droplets that eventually grow too big to stay put, then roll down the waxy surface....

Pitch Drops That Got The World Talking
2014-05-01 03:11:19

Institute of Physics In light of recent results from the "world's longest experiment", spanning more than 90 years, at the University of Queensland, a group of researchers from Trinity College Dublin explain the background behind their own pitch-drop experiment in this month's Physics World and offer an explanation as to why their research hit the headlines in 2013. Capturing the release of a drop of pitch – a thick, black, sticky material – from a funnel on camera seems mundane,...

Dancing Droplets Captured With High-speed Camera For Scientific 'Photo Album'
2013-08-06 13:50:58

Cornell University The splash from rain hitting a windowpane or printer ink hitting paper all comes down to tiny droplets hitting a surface, and what each of those droplets does. Cornell University researchers have produced a high-resolution "photo album" of more than 30 shapes an oscillated drop of water can take. The results, a fundamental insight into how droplets behave, could have applications in everything from inkjet printing to microfluidics. Susan Daniel, assistant professor of...

Seven Decade-Long Experiment Catches Tar Dripping For First Time
2013-07-19 13:03:08

[Watch Video: Pitch Drop Experiment Comes To An End] Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Set up by Ireland's Trinity College in 1944 and Australia's University of Queensland in 1927 -- a very specific event had never been witnessed before. Even an attempt to catch it with a webcam in 2000 failed because of an equipment malfunction. It represents the world's longest running experiment. If you're thinking "get to the point!" then you might know the frustration of...

New Ways To Study How Ordered Materials Arrange Themselves
2013-05-21 14:04:23

A fried breakfast food popular in Spain provided the inspiration for the development of doughnut-shaped droplets that may provide scientists with a new approach for studying fundamental issues in physics, mathematics and materials. The doughnut-shaped droplets, a shape known as toroidal, are formed from two dissimilar liquids using a simple rotating stage and an injection needle. About a millimeter in overall size, the droplets are produced individually, their shapes maintained by a...

Dew Drops Help Keep Cicada Wings Fresh And Clean
2013-04-30 09:42:33

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A spritz of dew drops is all the cicadas on the East Coast need to keep their wings fresh and clean as they emerge from their 17-year slumber. A research team from the universities of Duke and James Cook revealed dew drops are beneficial not only in cleaning cicada wings, but other water-repellant, or superhydrophobic, surfaces as well. Dew drops “jump” by themselves on such surfaces, carrying away contaminants....

Cloud Droplet Formation Rate Not Affected By Pollution
2013-02-19 05:21:23

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A little bit of oily and viscous organic material doesn't seem to matter much when it comes to forming the droplets that make up clouds. This is good news for reducing the uncertainty of climate model predictions. For accurate climate modeling, understanding cloud formation is essential. This understanding has to start with droplet formation, which occurs when water vapor is attracted to particles floating in the atmosphere. These...

2012-10-24 12:05:33

For the first time, scientists have observed how droplets within solids deform and burst under high electric voltages. This is important, the Duke University engineers who made the observations said, because it explains a major reason why such materials as insulation for electrical power lines eventually fail and cause blackouts. This observation not only helps scientists develop better insulation materials, but could also lead to such positive developments as "tunable" lenses for eyes....

Word of the Day
  • Nautical, the visiting and carousing of sailors in the Greenland ships.
This word is apparently from a confusion of two similar Dutch words: 'mallemerok,' a foolish woman, and 'mallemok,' a name for some persons among the crew of a whaling vessel.