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Leo P. Kadanoff : Drips and Jets: Singularities, Topology Changes, and Scaling for Fluid Interfaces

We investigate the behavior of the interface between two fluids. We are interested in the singularities which develop when the bridge connecting two pieces of fluid goes to zero thickness. One physical situation is Hele-Shaw flow: two fluids are trapped between parallel glass plates and feel frictional forces. Another situation is a cylindrically symmetrical stream, for example, in a dripping faucet. In a third case, a fluid in an electric or magnetic field which pulls off a piece of fluid ending in a sharp point. The last case has an interface between a light and a heavier fluid being sucked up as in a drinking straw. At a critical value of the sucking, a very thin bridge of the heavy fluid is formed. Analytical, numerical, and experimental methods are used to describe what happens right around the pinchoff of these bridges. Much of the resulting behavior can be understood via scaling arguments.

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