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Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Holding. Posted by Picasa




Hypatia said...

Hey Kousik! Thanks! Funny how I was feeling bummed about the lack of creepy crawlies and then I started spotting neat snow remnants.

Julio said...

wow, how can you do that?

Hypatia said...

It's all about surface tension!
Heres a quote from
HyperPhysics Index
The cohesive forces between liquid molecules are responsible for the phenomenon known as surface tension. The molecules at the surface do not have other like molecules on all sides of them and consequently they cohere more strongly to those directly associated with them on the surface. This forms a surface "film" which makes it more difficult to move an object through the surface than to move it when it is completely submersed.

Click on "Index" on the left side to get nice explanations of different phenomena.

Anyway, as long as the surface tension forces can overcome other forces (gravitational, drag or attraction to a surface for instance), the droplet will remain a large droplet rather than smaller droplets or a smear of wetness. (Here's a nice series of explanations of maximum raindrop size and raindrop shape.) In this picture, the surface tension of the droplet is strong enough to maintain it's shape with the conifer needles providing support to keep it from sliding down or through the needles.