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Break-up dynamics of fluctuating liquid threads

Julien Petit, David Rivière, Hamid Kellay and Jean-Pierre Delville
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Vol. 109, No. 45 (November 6, 2012), pp. 18327-18331
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41829911
Page Count: 5
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Break-up dynamics of fluctuating liquid threads
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Abstract

The thinning dynamics of a liquid neck before break-up, as may happen when a drop detaches from a faucet or a capillary, follows different rules and dynamic scaling laws depending on the importance of inertia, viscous stresses, or capillary forces. If now the thinning neck reaches dimensions comparable to the thermally excited interfacial fluctuations, as for nanojet break-up or the fragmentation of thermally annealed nanowires, these fluctuations should play a dominant role according to recent theory and observations. Using near-critical interfaces, we here fully characterize the universal dynamics of this thermal fluctuation-dominated regime and demonstrate that the cross-over from the classical two-fluid pinch-off scenario of a liquid thread to the fluctuation-dominated regime occurs at a well-defined neck radius proportional to the thermal length scale. Investigating satellite drop formation, we also show that at the level of the cross-over between these two regimes it is more probable to produce monodisperse droplets because fluctuation-dominated pinch-off may allow the unique situation where satellite drop formation can be inhibited. Nonetheless, the interplay between the evolution of the neck profiles from the classical to the fluctuation-dominated regime and the satellites' production remains to be clarified.

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