Contact time of a bouncing drop

Nature. 2002 Jun 20;417(6891):811. doi: 10.1038/417811a.


When a liquid drop lands on a solid surface without wetting it, it bounces with remarkable elasticity. Here we measure how long the drop remains in contact with the solid during the shock, a problem that was considered by Hertz for a bouncing ball. Our findings could help to quantify the efficiency of water-repellent surfaces (super-hydrophobic solids) and to improve water-cooling of hot solids, which is limited by the rebounding of drops as well as by temperature effects.