Micro-bubble morphologies following drop impacts onto a pool surface

Sigurdur T Thoroddsen, M.-J. Thoraval, K. Takehara, T.G. Etoh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


When a drop impacts at low velocity onto a pool surface, a hemispheric air layer cushions and can delay direct contact. Herein we use ultra-high-speed video to study the rupture of this layer, to explain the resulting variety of observed distribution of bubbles. The size and distribution of micro-bubbles is determined by the number and location of the primary punctures. Isolated holes lead to the formation of bubble necklaces when the edges of two growing holes meet, whereas bubble nets are produced by regular shedding of micro-bubbles from a sawtooth edge instability. For the most viscous liquids the air film contracts more rapidly than the capillary-viscous velocity through repeated spontaneous ruptures of the edge. From the speed of hole opening and the total volume of micro-bubbles we conclude that the air sheet ruptures when its thickness approaches ?100.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)469-479
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
StatePublished - Aug 14 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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