von Kármán Vortex Street within an Impacting Drop

Marie-Jean Thoraval, Kohsei Takehara, Takeharu Goji Etoh, Stéphane Popinet, Pascal Ray, Christophe Josserand, Stéphane Zaleski, Sigurdur T Thoroddsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

135 Scopus citations


The splashing of a drop impacting onto a liquid pool produces a range of different sized microdroplets. At high impact velocities, the most significant source of these droplets is a thin liquid jet emerging at the start of the impact from the neck that connects the drop to the pool. We use ultrahigh-speed video imaging in combination with high-resolution numerical simulations to show how this ejecta gives way to irregular splashing. At higher Reynolds numbers, its base becomes unstable, shedding vortex rings into the liquid from the free surface in an axisymmetric von Kármán vortex street, thus breaking the ejecta sheet as it forms.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number26
StatePublished - Jun 29 2012


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