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Object floating on the surface of water

  1. Mar 31, 2010 #1


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    How to use a function f[x,y,z] to describe the shape of water surface when a tiny object is floating on it based on surface tension ONLY?

    Assume there is a tiny object floating on the water surface because of the surface tension, then the water surface will be deformed obviously. So how can we use a function f[x,y,z] to describe the shape of water surface? (x,y,z) is a set of coordinate system of 3D space.

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    Last edited: Mar 31, 2010
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 31, 2010 #2

    Andy Resnick

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    AFAIK, this is a solved problem (it's a meniscus) even though I can't find a reference... interesting

    The idea is to balance the pressure: the surface will deform in accordance with Laplace's equation ([tex]\Delta P = -\sigma\kappa[/tex]), and the boundary condition is given by the contact angle. The pressure is given by hydrostatic and contact line forces.

    This reference may be a useful starting point:


    Or this:

  4. Apr 1, 2010 #3


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    Hey, why no one seems interested in this question?
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