Physicists have investigated the behavior of droplets in a «flat fog»

© Illustration RIA Novosti . A. particles of steam over heated waterPhysicists have investigated the behavior of droplets in a «flat fog»© Illustration RIA Novosti . A. Polyanina


Physics of Tyumen state University have studied the micro-particle pair, which are formed over the heated surface of the water, and for a few moments alone to gather in a geometrically correct structure. Scientists have been able to extend the «life» of the cluster and to investigate the processes that occur inside the drop. The article of the team of leading specialists from Russia, USA and Israel with the results of years of research published in the journal Scientific Reports.

«It is known that water can form hexagonal symmetric structure (snowflakes) in the solid state, but this kind of orderliness is lost upon transition to the liquid state, commented on the work head of the laboratory microhydrodynamics technologies, Tyumen state University Alexander Fedorets. For example, haze over a Cup of hot tea, the fog and water clouds are composed of many randomly moving drops. Surprisingly, under certain conditions, the chaos gives way to order: small spherical droplets of a diameter of tens of microns to form a self-organized hexagonal structure – droplet clusters, which levitated over a locally heated surface. Such artificial «flat fog» made in Tyumen University, opens up new possibilities for investigation of physical and chemical processes in microscopic droplets of water aerosols».

In 2003, scientists from Tyumen state University discovered the phenomenon of self-organization of water droplets in the ordered clusters. Drops levitated directly above the water surface due to the ascending air and are stable for up to several minutes. As soon as the drop increases in size due to condensation, it becomes more difficult, the updrafts can no longer hold it, drop falling into water, and the cluster splits. All this happens in thousandths of a second, and it affects millions of drops at a time. The researchers were able to keep the cluster in a stable state for several hours, irradiating the clusters with infrared light. This allowed a detailed study of microdroplets, their behavior in the cluster and the processes that occur inside the drop.