Memory-encoding vibrations in a disconnecting airbubble

Laura E. Schmidt, Nathan C. Keim, Wendy W. Zhang, Sidney R. Nagel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Many nonlinear processes, such as the propagation of waves over an ocean or the transmission of light pulses down an optical fibre, are integrable in the sense that the dynamics has as many conserved quantities as there are independent variables. The result is a time evolution that retains a complete memory of the initial state. In contrast, the nonlinear dynamics near a finite-time singularity, in which physical quantities such as pressure or velocity diverge at a point in time, is believed to evolve towards a universal form, one independent of the initial state. The break-up of a water drop in air or a viscous liquid inside an immiscible oil are processes that conform to this second scenario. These opposing scenarios collide in the nonlinearity produced by the formation of a finite-time singularity that is also integrable. We demonstrate here that the result is a novel dynamics with a dual character.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)343-346
Number of pages4
JournalNature Physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


Dive into the research topics of 'Memory-encoding vibrations in a disconnecting airbubble'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this