Why do puddles stop spreading? Phenomenon revealed.
The formulas scientists use to describe traditional fluid flow indicate that puddle water should spread endlessly. However, as most know, this is not the case. Now a team of CEE researchers has solved the mystery of why puddles settle at a given point, publishing their findings in the journal Physical Review Letters. “You start with something very simple, like the spread of a puddle, but you get at something very fundamental about intermolecular forces,” said Ruben Juanes, CEE professor and senior author of the study led by graduate student Amir Pahlavan and CEE research associate Luis Cueto-Felgueroso ‘06. “The same process, the same physics, will be at play in many complex flows.” Comprehension of the mechanics of this phenomenon is vital to enhance processes, from the lubrication of machinery to the potential sequestration of carbon dioxide emissions in porous underground formations. For the article, please see here.