Mathematical theory predicts that small changes in container shape or in contact angle can give rise to large shifts of liquid in a microgravity environment. This phenomenon was investigated in the Interface Configuration Experiment on board the NASA USML-2 Space Shuttle flight. The experiment’s “double proboscis” containers were designed to strike a balance between conflicting requirements of sizable volume of liquid shift (for ease of observation) and abruptness of the shift (for accurate determination of critical contact angle). The experimental results support the classical concept of macroscopic contact angle and demonstrate the role of hysteresis in impeding orientation toward equilibrium.
Experiments in Fluids – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 6, 2000
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