Free oscillations and surfactant studies of superdeformed drops in microgravity

Robert E. Apfel, Yuren Tian, Joseph Jankovsky, Tao Shi, X. Chen, R. Glynn Holt, Eugene Trinh, Arvid Croonquist, Kathyrn C. Thornton, Albert Sacco, Catherine Coleman, Fred W. Leslie, David H. Matthiesen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


An unprecedented microgravity observation of maximal shape oscillations of a surfactant-bearing water drop the size of a ping-pong ball was observed during a mission of Space Shuttle Columbia. The goal of the research, of which this observation is a part, was to study the rheological properties of liquid drop surfaces on which are adsorbed surfactant molecules under conditions not possible at 1g. Numerical computation of the evolution of the shape of greatly deformed drops using the boundary integral method has successfully predicted the observed drop shapes over a complete cycle of oscillation, thereby permitting the calculation of the dynamic surface tension under these unique conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1912-1915
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1997


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