Drop propulsion in tapered tubes
Author(s)Renvoise, P.; Bush, John W. M.; Prakash, Manu; Quere, D.
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We present the results of a combined experimental and theoretical investigation of the motion of wetting droplets in tapered capillary tubes. We demonstrate that drops may move spontaneously towards the tapered end owing to the Laplace pressure gradient established along their length. The influence of gravity on this spontaneous motion is examined by studying drop motion along a tilted tube with its tapered end pointing upwards. Provided the tube taper varies, an equilibrium height may be achieved in which the capillary force is balanced by the drop's weight. We deduce the family of tube shapes that support a stable equilibrium.
An Erratum for this article has been published in 2009 EPL 87 39901
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Center for Bits and Atoms; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mathematics; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Media Laboratory
European Physical Society by EDP Sciences, IOP Publishing and Società Italiana di Fisica
P. Renvoisé et al. "Drop propulsion in tapered tubes." Europhysics Letters (2009 )86.6 64003. © 2009 EPLA.
Final published version