Persistence of Memory in Drop Breakup: The Breakdown of Universality

Pankaj Doshi, Itai Cohen, Wendy W. Zhang, Michael Siegel, Peter Howell, Osman A. Basaran, Sidney R. Nagel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

137 Scopus citations


A low-viscosity drop breaking apart inside a viscous fluid is encountered when air bubbles, entrained in thick syrup or honey, rise and break apart. Experiments, simulations, and theory show that the breakup under conditions in which the interior viscosity can be neglected produces an exceptional form of singularity. In contrast to previous studies of drop breakup, universality is violated so that the final shape at breakup retains an imprint of the initial and boundary conditions. A finite interior viscosity, no matter how small, cuts off this form of singularity and produces an unexpectedly long and slender thread. If exterior viscosity is large enough, however, the cutoff does not occur because the minimum drop radius reaches subatomic dimensions first.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1185-1188
Number of pages4
Issue number5648
StatePublished - Nov 14 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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