Breakup of air bubbles in water: Memory and breakdown of cylindrical symmetry

Nathan C. Keim, Peder Møller, Wendy W. Zhang, Sidney R. Nagel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations

Abstract

Using high-speed video, we have studied air bubbles detaching from an underwater nozzle. As a bubble distorts, it forms a thin neck which develops a singular shape as it pinches off. As in other singularities, the minimum neck radius scales with the time until the breakup. However, because the air-water interfacial tension does not drive the breakup, even small initial cylindrical asymmetries are preserved throughout the collapse. This novel, nonuniversal singularity retains a memory of the nozzle shape, size, and tilt angle. In the last stages, the air appears to tear instead of pinch.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number144503
JournalPhysical review letters
Volume97
Issue number14
DOIs
StatePublished - 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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