Volume 87 Issue 50 | p. 35 | Concentrates
Issue Date: December 14, 2009

Odd Friction Behavior Of Droplets

Novel instrument probes components of force in sliding droplets.
Department: Science & Technology

More force is required to slide a droplet resting on a surface than one suspended from a surface-right? Not so, say Rafael Tadmor, Prashant Bahadur, and coworkers of Lamar University, in Beaumont, Texas. The counterintuitive finding could help scientists understand the behavior of lubricants in low-gravity environments. Classic textbooks teach that more force is needed to push a heavy box than a lighter box across a floor because the additional weight increases the contact area . . .

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