Buckling of liquid columns

M. Habibi*, Y. Rahmani, Daniel Bonn, N.M. Ribe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Under appropriate conditions, a column of viscous liquid falling onto a rigid surface undergoes a buckling instability. Here we show experimentally and theoretically that liquid buckling exhibits a hitherto unsuspected complexity involving three different modes-viscous, gravitational, and inertial-depending on how the viscous forces that resist bending of the column are balanced. We also find that the nonlinear evolution of the buckling exhibits a surprising multistability with three distinct states: steady stagnation flow, "liquid rope coiling," and a new state in which the column simultaneously folds periodically and rotates about a vertical axis. The transitions among these states are subcritical, leading to a complex phase diagram in which different combinations of states coexist in different regions of the parameter space.

Original languageEnglish
Article number074301
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2010
Externally publishedYes

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