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New Trends in the Physics and Mechanics of Biological Systems$
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Martine Ben Amar, Alain Goriely, Martin Michael Müller, and Leticia Cugliandolo

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199605835

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199605835.001.0001

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Surface tension

(p.27) 2 Surface tension
New Trends in the Physics and Mechanics of Biological Systems

John W. M. Bush

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents a pedagogical discussion of the surface tension and its manifestation in a number of fluid systems. Interfacial boundary conditions are derived and then applied in various settings. Particular attention is given to highlighting the role of curvature pressure in fluid statics, including fluid menisci and the floating of small bodies at interfaces. Dynamic settings influenced by capillary effects and capillary instability are also highlighted, including fluid jets, sheets, and hydraulic jumps. Marangoni flows (dominated by gradients of surface tension) are also considered, and the role of surface impurities in interfacial flows discussed. Simple mathematical developments are augmented with physical discussion with hopes of improving intuition for this class of problems.

Keywords:   surface tension, menisci, jets, sheets, Marangoni flows, surfactants, capillary instability

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