Viscous to inertial crossover in liquid drop coalescence

Joseph D. Paulsen, Justin C. Burton, Sidney R. Nagel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

177 Scopus citations


Using an electrical method and high-speed imaging, we probe drop coalescence down to 10 ns after the drops touch. By varying the liquid viscosity over two decades, we conclude that, at a sufficiently low approach velocity where deformation is not present, the drops coalesce with an unexpectedly late crossover time between a regime dominated by viscous and one dominated by inertial effects. We argue that the late crossover, not accounted for in the theory, can be explained by an appropriate choice of length scales present in the flow geometry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number114501
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number11
StatePublished - Mar 14 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


Dive into the research topics of 'Viscous to inertial crossover in liquid drop coalescence'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this