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Surface tension: Floater clustering in a standing wave

Falkovich, G.; Weinberg, A.; Denissenko, P.; Lukaschuk, S.


G. Falkovich

A. Weinberg

P. Denissenko

S. Lukaschuk


How do waves affect the distribution of small particles that float on water? Here we show that drifting small particles concentrate in either the nodes or antinodes of a standing wave, depending on whether they are hydrophilic or hydrophobic, as a result of a surface-tension effect that violates Archimedes' law of buoyancy. This clustering on waves may find practical application in particle separation and provides insight into the patchy distribution on water of, for example, plastic litter or oil slicks.


Falkovich, G., Weinberg, A., Denissenko, P., & Lukaschuk, S. (2005). Surface tension: Floater clustering in a standing wave. Nature, 435(7045), 1045-1046.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 23, 2005
Online Publication Date Jun 23, 2005
Publication Date Jun 23, 2005
Journal NATURE
Print ISSN 0028-0836
Electronic ISSN 1476-4687
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 435
Issue 7045
Pages 1045-1046
Keywords Multidisciplinary
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