Perturbed breakup of gas bubbles in water: Memory, gas flow, and coalescence

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The pinch-off of an air bubble from an underwater nozzle ends in a singularity with a remarkable sensitivity to a variety of perturbations. I report on experiments that break both the axial (i.e., vertical) and azimuthal symmetry of the singularity formation. The density of the inner gas influences the axial asymmetry of the neck near pinch-off. For denser gases, flow through the neck late in collapse changes the pinch-off dynamics. Gas density is also implicated in the formation of satellite bubbles. The azimuthal shape oscillations described by Schmidt can be initiated by anisotropic boundary conditions in the liquid as well as with an asymmetric nozzle shape. I measure the n=3 oscillatory mode and observe the nonlinear, highly three-dimensional outcomes of pinch-off with large azimuthal perturbations. These are consistent with prior theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number056325
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 23 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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