Register to reply

How can water do this?

by Amigajoe
Tags: water
Share this thread:
Amigajoe
#1
Jul20-12, 07:22 PM
P: 4
Since I was a little kid I've noticed that when water is splashed on a flat surface, there are usually some 'special' bubbles that I called 'reverse bubbles'. Reverse bubbles differed from the regular kind by their appearance (very bright and shiny) and their motion, (rapid, indicating substantial mass). Oddly, whenever I mentioned this, no one ever claimed to see them! The phenom was especially obvious in stainless-steel sinks and on cars being washed. it was obvious to me that these were bubbles of water instead of air; the mystery was how this was possible. Anyway I recently got a digital camera with a high-speed mode video and decided to capture some of my reverse bubbles to show to an oblivious world. Upon examining my recording I found something amazing (to me). The 'bubbles' were in fact not bubbles but little spheres of water rolling along like glass marbles! So now I'm even more bewildered. The balls of water skitter along very quickly and usually last less than a second, but they are definitely little spheres of water rolling along across a layer of water (?) To eliminate the idea of surface tension holding them together I spread a thin layer of soap (dishwashing liquid) across the surface; if anything the effect is enhanced! I'm posting this here, risking scorn and derision for treating a well-known thing as a new discovery because I want answers and haven't been able to find any! I put the video on YouTube and can provide a link if anyone's interested.


Many thanks
Phys.Org News Partner Physics news on Phys.org
Symphony of nanoplasmonic and optical resonators produces laser-like light emission
Do we live in a 2-D hologram? New Fermilab experiment will test the nature of the universe
Duality principle is 'safe and sound': Researchers clear up apparent violation of wave-particle duality
Danger
#2
Jul20-12, 07:42 PM
PF Gold
Danger's Avatar
P: 8,964
Welcome to PF, Amigajoe.
I've never noticed such a thing in a regular spill, but water always "balls up" and skitters around when dropped onto a hot surface such as a frying pan. The surface instantly evaporates, and the resultant steam layer insulates the rest of the ball.
The spherical shape of those, and yours, must come from surface tension so the reaction to an added surfactant puzzles me greatly.
OmCheeto
#3
Jul20-12, 07:53 PM
PF Gold
OmCheeto's Avatar
P: 1,431
Quote Quote by Danger View Post
Welcome to PF, Amigajoe.
I've never noticed such a thing in a regular spill, but water always "balls up" and skitters around when dropped onto a hot surface such as a frying pan. The surface instantly evaporates, and the resultant steam layer insulates the rest of the ball.
The spherical shape of those, and yours, must come from surface tension so the reaction to an added surfactant puzzles me greatly.
I noticed this type of behavior with a fluid after I'd heard about the Leidenfrost effect. Only the surface was colder than both the boiling point of the fluid, and colder than the liquid. So I have a supplementary theory.

But I'll let others chime in before I discuss my amateurish discovery.

Amigajoe
#4
Jul20-12, 07:58 PM
P: 4
How can water do this?

Yes, I've heard of (and seen)the hot skillet effect and that's the most common response I've gotten when asking about this. Not it.
Here, look at the video I shot and you tell me.
This clip stars at 120fps, then changes to normal speed (30fps) to show how fast they move.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwL3ho6rNGE
This clip is recorded at 240 FPS and the spherical nature of the water droplets is more obvious as they clearly roll along.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrO2C00X5aE
Unfortunately, as the frame rate increases the resolution drops, so it's not as sharp as I'd like, but the phenomenon is quite clear.
OmCheeto
#5
Jul20-12, 08:04 PM
PF Gold
OmCheeto's Avatar
P: 1,431
Quote Quote by Amigajoe View Post
Yes, I've heard of (and seen)the hot skillet effect and that's the most common response I've gotten when asking about this. Not it.
Here, look at the video I shot and you tell me.
This clip stars at 120fps, then changes to normal speed (30fps) to show how fast they move.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwL3ho6rNGE
This clip is recorded at 240 FPS and the spherical nature of the water droplets is more obvious as they clearly roll along.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrO2C00X5aE
Unfortunately, as the frame rate increases the resolution drops, so it's not as sharp as I'd like, but the phenomenon is quite clear.
Ok. I'll give you hint as to what is going on: Thunder!
flatmaster
#6
Jul20-12, 08:12 PM
P: 505
Can't be Leidenfrost. You can see the sufrace is covered in the liquid when one of the bubbles breaks. I think you're looking at water-walled bubbles full of air floating on a thin film of water.
Amigajoe
#7
Jul20-12, 08:20 PM
P: 4
I don't think so. These 'bubbles' are clearly filled with water. Ordinary bubbles can be seen there also; they barely move, while the reverse bubbles shoot out like ball bearings. A bubble of air simply doesn't have the mass to move so quickly. Also the reverse bubbles have a distinctly different appearance, they look like glass and are highly reflective/refractive. They're water.
OmCheeto
#8
Jul20-12, 08:35 PM
PF Gold
OmCheeto's Avatar
P: 1,431
Quote Quote by Amigajoe View Post
They're water.
Thunder water!
D H
#9
Jul20-12, 08:36 PM
Mentor
P: 15,163
Quote Quote by Amigajoe View Post
Since I was a little kid I've noticed that when water is splashed on a flat surface, there are usually some 'special' bubbles that I called 'reverse bubbles'.
They're called antibubbles. Bubbles on the surface of a liquid are globules of gas surrounded by a thin film of liquid. Antibubbles are globules of liquid separated from the main body of water by a thin film of gas. Antibubbles are weird. They skitter and bounce around rapidly across the surface. Because they are mostly liquid, antibubbles are only slightly less dense than the surrounding liquid. Make the inner liquid of a slightly different substance and the antibubble can even sink.

Here's an out of this world experiment with antibubbles performed on the International Space Station by astronaut Don Pettit.

Amigajoe
#10
Jul20-12, 08:45 PM
P: 4
Your description sounds kind of like what I'm talking about, but of course it isn't different liquids.
OK, looking at the Wiki page I see this is correct. So much my new discovery;-(. I see it all the time, why are so few people familiar with this phenomenon?!? 'AntiBubbles', now I finally know what to call them! Thanks! The Wiki page has some good pics and matches my description exactly. Of course it gives no explanation for how it works, which is what I'm really interested in. What keeps the two water surfaces separate, especially with soapy water?
OmCheeto
#11
Jul20-12, 09:00 PM
PF Gold
OmCheeto's Avatar
P: 1,431
Quote Quote by D H View Post
They're called antibubbles. Bubbles on the surface of a liquid are globules of gas surrounded by a thin film of liquid. Antibubbles are globules of liquid separated from the main body of water by a thin film of gas. Antibubbles are weird. They skitter and bounce around rapidly across the surface. Because they are mostly liquid, antibubbles are only slightly less dense than the surrounding liquid. Make the inner liquid of a slightly different substance and the antibubble can even sink.

Here's an out of this world experiment with antibubbles performed on the International Space Station by astronaut Don Pettit.

I knew I should have waited.... At the microscopic level, we are dealing with planes of liquid, gliding across a surface plane, lubricated like an air based kingsbury thrust bearing, kind of like the air hockey games of old.

But I still think electrostatics plays a role.

I'll do more experimenting.......
pgardn
#12
Jul20-12, 09:00 PM
P: 621
I just witnessed this 2 days ago while kayaking and got caught in a rainstorm. The bay was like glass and the rain came and I just watched the little balls of water slip and slide over the surface of the bay. It was so cool. I did not notice the variety shown in the OP video in the sink. And the balls of water were definitely smaller in my experience.

I just assumed they were balls of water that somehow due to surface tension did not immediately fuse with the bigger body of water. What interested me more is they appeared to be very much the same size. I thought this was due to my inability to possibly see all of them, but there was a definite upper limit to the volume.

Very happy to see this brought up and discussed. My friend also saw them, we just watched with fascination because they were so easy to see under the light conditions. I knew I had seen them before, but being out in the middle of a bay it was very obvious.

The electrostatic reasoning of one poster reminds me of the Kelvin water dropper. This device absolutely freaked me out when I first saw it work and the explanation.

Great timing on this post for me. Great post anyhow.
OmCheeto
#13
Jul20-12, 10:36 PM
PF Gold
OmCheeto's Avatar
P: 1,431
Quote Quote by OmCheeto View Post

But I still think electrostatics plays a role.

I'll do more experimenting.......
Ah ha! I knew someone should have figured this mystery out long ago:

Antibubbles: evidences of a critical pressure
Authors: S. Dorbolo, N. Vandewalle
(Submitted on 7 May 2003)

The stability of the antibubble is given by the balance
between Van der Waals attractive forces ... and
electrostatic repulsion forces ...
Without the electrostatic repulsion forces, there can be no balance. And with no balance, there can be no antibubbles......

---------------------------------
and I guess I can just go to bed then......
NascentOxygen
#14
Jul21-12, 02:41 AM
HW Helper
Thanks
P: 5,300
You see these drops (or bubbles of water) when water drips from the tap into water already in the sink. Now and then there will be a drop (or droplet) that scoots around above the water surface, seemingly unwilling to merge into the anonymity of the greater body of water below.

Similar phenomenon when you throw a bucket of water over the car to rinse it after a wash.
Anthropomorphic? Who, me??
metaquest
#15
Feb19-13, 04:22 PM
P: 2
im looking for ways to produce these spheres in diameters of 10 feet to 30 feet in diameter..any suggestions or hurdles to look for?
sophiecentaur
#16
Feb20-13, 04:31 PM
Sci Advisor
Thanks
PF Gold
sophiecentaur's Avatar
P: 12,157
Quote Quote by metaquest View Post
im looking for ways to produce these spheres in diameters of 10 feet to 30 feet in diameter..any suggestions or hurdles to look for?
Things like this tend not to 'scale'.
Which do you think would 'win' at that size - electric or gravitational forces?
metaquest
#17
Feb20-13, 05:44 PM
P: 2
we are looking for a balance between the two
0xDEADBEEF
#18
Feb20-13, 05:57 PM
P: 825
I think what you are observing is this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grUOHeKm19I
This video has more but please ignore everything they say, it is wildly misleading:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9yWv5dqSKk

They claim it is an air film separating the drop from the water (Probably due to the laminar flow Prandl layer which prevents mixing and slows down air movement)


Register to reply

Related Discussions
If an ice cube floating in a glass of water melts, won't the water level decrease? Introductory Physics Homework 3
Cooling hot water by adding in cool water and draining out the hot water - Formulae General Physics 5
Heat power needed to partially evaporate water from a water container Introductory Physics Homework 1
Basic question regarding triple point of water and physical properties of water Introductory Physics Homework 9