Latest Surface tension Stories

2009-06-24 13:05:00

Water forms droplets because attractive interactions between molecules produce surface tension. If macroscopic objects"”say, grains of sand"”replace the molecules, the relative strength of this attraction would dramatically drop. What vestiges of liquid behavior remain in such ultra-low surface tension limit?Physicists seeking to answer this question have, for the first time, measured the nanoscale forces that cause droplet formation in a falling stream of tiny glass beads. John...

2009-01-26 10:10:32

U.S. scientists say they've designed a mini boat that propels itself by harnessing energy contained in the water's surface. University of Pittsburgh researchers said the technique destabilizes the surface tension surrounding the boat with an electric pulse and causes the craft to move using the surface's natural pull. Professor Sung Kwon Cho, who led the research, said the method offers an efficient and low-maintenance mechanism for small robots and boats that monitor water quality in oceans,...

2008-12-12 10:03:33

Researchers at MIT recently found an elegant solution to a sticky scientific problem in basic fluid mechanics: why water doesn't soak into soil at an even rate, but instead forms what look like fingers of fluid flowing downward.Scientists call these rivulets "gravity fingers," and the explanation for their formation has to do with the surface tension where the water"”or any liquid"”meets the soil (or other medium). Knowing how to account for this phenomenon mathematically will...

2005-09-28 12:40:00

LONDON -- Scientists said on Wednesday they have discovered how tiny insects manage to walk on water and propel themselves across the slippery slopes of ponds and puddles. Although the surfaces of the water look flat to the human eye, for the tiny creatures they appear as huge walls of water called menisci that must be climbed to get to where they want to go. John Bush and David Hu at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States used a high-speed video to show exactly...

2005-08-25 11:57:12

University of Arizona physicists have discovered what it takes to make metal 'nanowires' that last a long time. This is particularly important to the electronics industry, which hopes to use tiny wires -- that have diameters counted in tens of atoms -- in Lilputian electronic devices in the next 10 to 15 years. Researchers predict that such nanotechnology will be the next Big Thing to revolutionize the computing, medical, power and other industries in coming decades. Although researchers in...

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