What's Happening Inside Liquid Droplets?

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For most people, the drip, drip, drip of a leaking faucet would be an annoyance. But for Georgia Institute of Technology Ph.D. candidate Alexandros Fragkopoulos, what happens inside droplets is the stuff of serious science.

In the laboratory of Alberto Fernandez-Nieves in Georgia Tech’s School of Physics, Fragkopoulos is studying how toroidal droplets – which initially take the shape of a donut – evolve into spherical droplets by collapsing into themselves or breaking up into smaller droplets. 

Work with droplets has implications for the life sciences, where biological materials, including cells, undergo shape changes reminiscent of droplet behavior. And the findings could improve industrial processes ranging from fuel injectors to chemical processes that depend on droplet formation. In the work, researchers in the Fernandez-Nieves lab have developed a new understanding of the processes that control the evolution of unstable, donut-shaped droplets, helping them clarify the complex interplay of forces relevant to the problem.

Check out the complete story in Research Horizons.


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    Jerry Grillo
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    A. Maureen Rouhi
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