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Microfluidics: Modeling, Mechanics and Mathematics by Bastian E. Rapp

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Chapter 23

Plateau-Rayleigh Instability

23.1 Introduction

We will now turn to an effect that is commonly observed whenever a thin thread of liquid is running, e.g., from the tap. The thread of the liquid will remain stable for some time before eventually decomposing into individual droplets. This effect is referred to as Plateau-Rayleigh1,2instability. A fluid column experiences significant forces originating from surface tension. These can be minimized when minimizing the surface area. Therefore, a liquid column will have the tendency to decompose into individual droplets. In this section, we will study the fluid mechanics of this phenomenon.

23.2 Stability Considerations

In general, the instability of a thin cylinder of a liquid is due to ...

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