Delayed capillary breakup of falling viscous jets

A. Javadi*, J. Eggers, D. Bonn, M. Habibi, N.M. Ribe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Thin jets of viscous fluid like honey falling from capillary nozzles can attain lengths exceeding 10 m before breaking up into droplets via the Rayleigh-Plateau (surface tension) instability. Using a combination of laboratory experiments and WKB analysis of the growth of shape perturbations on a jet being stretched by gravity, we determine how the jet's intact length lb depends on the flow rate Q, the viscosity η, and the surface tension coefficient γ. In the asymptotic limit of a high-viscosity jet, lb∼(gQ2η4/γ4)1/3, where g is the gravitational acceleration. The agreement between theory and experiment is good, except for very long jets.

Original languageEnglish
Article number144501
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2013
Externally publishedYes

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