Picture of the Day

"Quantum Forest"

The patterns that can be produced by a fluid like oil or water on a nonstick surface will depend upon the amount of liquid and how much the liquid is repelled from the surface. If you could adjust the level of stickiness, or, in other words, control the surface tension, you could control the type of pattern formed. Here particles were arranged in tree-like formations, where each limb contains thousands of the particles arranged in rows. While the arrangement of the particles can be seen, each of the individual particles is too small to be observed with the naked eye. However, the type of pattern that is formed is related to the strength of the interactions of the liquid in which the particles are dispersed, and the surface of the underlying support.

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