University of Lincoln, UK

Seminar by David Fairhurst: Levitating Mexican bubbles: an overview of some recent experiments on non-equilibrium soft-matter


Dr. David Fairhurst from Nottingham Trent University will give a seminar at the School of Mathematics and Physics, on Wednesday 16th of March 2016, 2 pm (room JBL0C05 in the Joseph Banks Laboratories, building 22 on the uni map). He will be presenting a very interesting talk on

Levitating Mexican bubbles: an overview of some recent experiments on non-equilibrium soft-matter

I will begin with our more established work on droplet drying using poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO). Unlike nearly every other substance, PEO droplets do not form a coffee-like ring deposit, nor a uniform deposit like paint. Instead, under a wide range of conditions, they form “Mexican Hat” pillars, which in some cases are taller than the initial droplet. We have varied many experimental parameters and concluded that the behaviour can be predicted using a dimensionless Peclet number, incorporating droplet shape, size, temperature, ambient pressure and concentration. The same effect is also seen in blood at low pressures!

I will then present three examples of some work in progress: firstly on blowing soap bubbles, and how to control the bubble size using wind speed; secondly on a surprisingly stable magnetic levitation seen when polymer solutions are mixed; and thirdly on “self-assembled” hollow tubes, using a 3D printer.

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