This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site you agree to our use of cookies. To find out more, see our Privacy and Cookies policy.
Skip to the content

Share this

Free weekly newswire

Sign up to receive all our latest news direct to your inbox.

Physics on film

100 Second Science Your scientific questions answered simply by specialists in less than 100 seconds.

Watch now

Bright Recruits

At all stages of your career – whether you're an undergraduate, graduate, researcher or industry professional – brightrecruits.com can help find the job for you.

Find your perfect job

Physics connect

Are you looking for a supplier? Physics Connect lists thousands of scientific companies, businesses, non-profit organizations, institutions and experts worldwide.

Start your search today

Blog

Leidenfrost drops race through a maze

By Hamish Johnston

In this fantastic video, physics students at the University of Bath in the UK have had some fun with the Leidenfrost effect. This occurs when a liquid drop comes in contact with a hot surface that produces an insulating layer of vapour that keeps the drop from evaporating rapidly. This layer also allows the drop to glide effortlessly over the surface – and that’s where the fun begins.

It turns out that if you replace a smooth surface with the sort of asymmetrical teeth found in a ratchet, the drop will move rapidly in one direction. By using ratchet surfaces to accelerate liquid drops, the team has made the drops move uphill and even follow a predetermined path through a maze.

And if you wonder what would happen if you combined the Leidenfrost effect with the paramagnetic response of a liquid, check out the beautiful image in the article “Levitating drops controlled by fridge magnets”.

This entry was posted in General and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.
View all posts by this author  | View this author's profile

One comment to Leidenfrost drops race through a maze

  1. M. Asghar

    Nice work, but simple to understand. It works just in the opposite way the gravity works for an object on a inclined plane. Due to the component of the gravitational acceleration g determined by the inclination-angle of the plane, the object feels a force downwards along the plane. In the case of the Leidenfrost effect, the Leidenforce force points upwards and on a toothed inclined surface, its componemt pushes the drop up the inclined toohed surface and it moves from one tooth to the other. On a perfectly flat suface, the drop will only sizzle and dance up and down.

Leave a comment

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Guidelines

  • Comments should be relevant to the article and not be used to promote your own work, products or services.
  • Please keep your comments brief (we recommend a maximum of 250 words).
  • We reserve the right to remove excessively long, inappropriate or offensive entries.

Show/hide formatting guidelines

Tag Description Example Output
<a> Hyperlink <a href="http://www.google.com">google</a> google
<abbr> Abbreviation <abbr title="World Health Organisation" >WHO</abbr> WHO
<acronym> Acronym <acronym title="as soon as possible">ASAP</acronym> ASAP
<b> Bold <b>Some text</b> Some text
<blockquote> Quoted from another source <blockquote cite="http://iop.org/">IOP</blockquote>
IOP
<cite> Cite <cite>Diagram 1</cite> Diagram 1
<del> Deleted text From this line<del datetime="2012-12-17"> this text was deleted</del> From this line this text was deleted
<em> Emphasized text In this line<em> this text was emphasised</em> In this line this text was emphasised
<i> Italic <i>Some text</i> Some text
<q> Quotation WWF goal is to build a future <q cite="http://www.worldwildlife.org/who/index.html">
where people live in harmony with nature and animals</q>
WWF goal is to build a future
where people live in harmony with nature and animals
<strike> Strike text <strike>Some text</strike> Some text
<strong> Stronger emphasis of text <strong>Some text</strong> Some text
WordPress Appliance - Powered by TurnKey Linux