Sunday, April 3, 2022

Sizzling Surfaces and Skittering Water

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, History of Science

Ed Hessler

We've all seen water droplets hopping and bouncing when they encounter a very hot surface. The phenomenon has a name: the Leidenfrost effect. It  was first described by a German doctor and theologian Johann Gottlob Leidenfrost (1715 - 1794).

A newly designed surface has been designed to prevent it? You may wonder why this has long attracted the attention of engineers who have been trying to design surfaces that avoid it. Many systems that use water-based-cooling systems are much less efficient than they otherwise might be.

This Nature video (4m 20s) describes the phenomenon and the development of a new surface which prevents it.  There is a link to the scientific paper where you can read the abstract and learn more about the authors of the scientists and engineers involved--12 investigators. The full paper is behind a subscription wall.

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