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Drop (liquid)


A drop or droplet is a small volume of liquid, bounded completely or almost completely by free surfaces.


Surface tension


The simplest way to form a drop is to allow liquid to flow slowly from the lower end of a vertical tube of small diameter. When the pendant drop exceeds a certain size it is no longer stable and detaches itself. Drops may also be formed by the condensation of a supercooled vapor or by atomization of a larger mass of liquid. The mass m (or weight mg) of the largest drop that can hang from the end of a tube of radius a can be found from the formula

\,mg = 3 \pi a \lambda \cos \alpha

where λ is the surface tension of the liquid, α is the angle of contact with the tube, and g is the acceleration due to gravity.[citation needed] This relationship is the basis of a convenient method of measuring surface tension, commonly used in the petroleum industry.


Due to the different refractive index of water and air, refraction and reflection occur on the surfaces of raindrops, leading to rainbow formation.


The major source of sound when a droplet hits a liquid surface is the resonance of excited bubbles trapped underwater. These oscillating bubbles are responsible for most liquid sounds, such as running water or splashes, as they actually consist of many drop-liquid collisions.[1][2]


See also

  • Rain


  1. ^ Prosperetti, Andrea; Oguz, Hasan N. (1993). "The impact of drops on liquid surfaces and the underwater noise of rain" (PDF). Annual Review of Fluid Mechanics 25: 577-602. doi:10.1146/annurev.fl.25.010193.003045. Retrieved on 2006-12-09.
  2. ^ Rankin, Ryan C. (June 2005). Bubble Resonance. The Physics of Bubbles, Antibubbles, and all That. Retrieved on 2006-12-09.
  • Liquid Sculpture - pictures of drops
  • Tvw Gallery of Drops - pictures of drops
  • Calculation of water waste from dripping tap
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Drop_(liquid)". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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