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Published September 2011 | Published
Journal Article Open

Dynamics of freely moving plates connected by a shallow liquid bridge


We study the dynamics of freely moving plates connected by a shallow liquid bridge via analytic and experimental methods. The gap between the plates is used as a small parameter within a lubrication approximation, reducing the problem to an Abel equation of the second kind. Analysis of the governing differential equation yields two novel physical phenomena: (1) An impulse-like peak in the force applied by the liquid bridge on the plates, obtained from a uniform asymptotic solution for small capillary numbers. (2) Both linear and non-linear oscillations of the system for the case of surfaces with low wettability, obtained from small perturbations of the system around the equilibrium point. An experimental setup examining the motion of freely moving plates was constructed, yielding experimental data which compared favorably with the analytic results and specifically displayed the predicted oscillations and impulse-like peak of the applied force. The application of the current analysis to the manipulation of solid bodies and possible future research directions are discussed.

Additional Information

© 2011 American Institute of Physics. Received 14 March 2011; accepted 1 September 2011; published online 30 September 2011. We thank Dr. Sari Paikoff and Dr. James Savage of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) which supported the project. The authors wish to acknowledge the advice of Adrianus Aria regarding the development of the experimental setup.

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Published - Gat2011p16223Phys_Fluids.pdf


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August 22, 2023
August 22, 2023