NJIT Applied Mathematics Colloquium

Friday, October 21, 2011, 11:30am

Cullimore Lecture Hall II
New Jersey Institute of Technology

Dynamics and stability of reconfigurable capillary surfaces

Paul Steen

Cornell University

‘Capillary surfaces’ are liquid/gas interfaces whose shape is determined by surface tension.
Capillary surfaces reconfigure passively by their tendency to minimize area. They can also be
made to reconfigure actively by doing work on them. In this talk, results on the dynamics and
stability of drop and drop/bridge systems will be presented. Motivating applications include
i) the manipulation of drops on a plate via mechanical-excitation and ii) a beetle-inspired
switchable capillary-adhesion device.