Bounce droplets, let's look at a metal plate.
Bounce droplets, let's look at a metal plate.
Metal Rain

when a drop of water falls from near the surface to the surface, it does not always blend in directly, and it may stay on the liquid surface for a while before blending, and a smaller liquid may bounce up in the process of fusion. and repeat the above process several times. How the droplets will merge depends on a series of factors, such as liquid viscosity, surface tension, air pressure, falling height, electric charge and so on.

(this is the version of the water drop, I shot it myself, the phone is in slow motion)

and in liquid metal, similar droplet suspension and multiple fusion can be observed. Today let's take a look at the liquid metal version. The liquid metal in the picture is a low melting point gallium indium tin alloy.

(gif is too big to be converted to video)

the process of liquid metal fusion and bouncing does not occur at the interface between liquid metal and air, this is because the alloy surface is prone to oxide when exposed to air, which changes the original properties of the liquid surface. In order to prevent the formation of oxide film, the liquid metal here is immersed in sodium hydroxide solution, and the liquid surface we see is actually the interface between metal and alkali solution.

Water has high surface tension in common liquids, while the surface tension of liquid metal is much higher, so we can hardly observe the droplet changing shape like a water droplet during bounce. it looks more like a solid metal ball.

the video of liquid metal comes from a video contributed by GALLERY OF FLUID MOTION of the American physical Society, called "Heavy Metal Rain".


Ryan McGuan, University of California Los Angeles

Rob Candler, University of California Los Angeles

Pirouz Kavehpour, University of California Los Angeles

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