Drop formation by thermal fluctuations at an ultraflow surface tension

Y Hennequin, DGAL Aarts, JH van der Wiel, G Wegdam, JG Eggers, HNW Lekkerkerker, D Bonn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We present experimental evidence that drop breakup is caused by thermal noise in a system with a surface tension that is more than 10(6) times smaller than that of water. We observe that at very small scales classical hydrodynamics breaks down and the characteristic signatures of pinch-off due to thermal noise are observed. Surprisingly, the noise makes the drop size distribution more uniform, by suppressing the formation of satellite droplets of the smallest sizes. The crossover between deterministic hydrodynamic motion and stochastic thermally driven motion has repercussions for our understanding of small-scale hydrodynamics, important in many problems such as micro- or nanofluidics and interfacial singularities.
Translated title of the contributionDrop formation by thermal fluctuations at an ultraflow surface tension
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1 - 4
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Volume97 (24, 244502)
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2006

Bibliographical note

Publisher: American Physical Soc
Other identifier: IDS number 117QT

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