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NJIT engineer discovers why particles disperse on liquids
Date:11/17/2009

ruses and proteins, the velocity or speed on an air-water interface can be as high as 167 kilometers (about 100 miles) per hour.

Singh says the motion of the particles is dominated by inertia because the viscous dampingwhich is like frictionis too small. He compares the situation to a moving pendulum. "The pendulum will oscillate many times before friction makes it stop," he says. "If friction is too great, it won't oscillate."

Eventually, the particles which have been oscillating around their equilibrium point will stop--thanks to viscous drag which causes resistance to the motion.

"Let me explain more about viscous drag," said Singh. "When a body, such as a ball, moves through air or liquid, it will resist the motion. This resistance is caused by viscous drag. Or look at it this way. When a particle is adsorbed at a surface, it acquires a part of the released interfacial energy as kinetic energy," he says. "The particle dissipates this kinetic energy by oscillating from its equilibrium height in the interface. The act gives rise to repulsive hydrodynamic forces, the underlying cause of why particles disperse."


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Contact: Sheryl Weinstein
Sheryl.m.weinstein@njit.edu
973-596-3436
New Jersey Institute of Technology
Source:Eurekalert  

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