When a body of liquid sits on a surface, an irregular border between the wet and dry regions of the surface exists, called the contact line. Driving this contact line back and forth repeatedly can change its shape.We use a syringe pump to cyclically infuse and withdraw a predetermined volume of water, and take photos of the contact line after each cycle. Comparing these images to each other determines if the contact line is returning to the same shape. We find that below a critical value of infused volume, after many cycles the contact line reaches a steady state in which it always returns to the same shape. Above that value the shape fluctuates in the steady state. This suggests a transition similar to that seen in other systems like particle suspensions and solids.


Fluid Dynamics | Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics


Nathan C. Keim

Lab site

California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly SLO)

Funding Acknowledgement

Funding: NSF 1708870, RSCA. The 2018 STEM Teacher and Researcher Program and this project have been made possible through support from Chevron (www.chevron.com), the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation (www.marinesanctuary.org), the National Science Foundation through the Robert Noyce Program under Grant #1836335 and 1340110, the California State University Office of the Chancellor, and California Polytechnic State University in partnership with The National Science Foundation. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the funders.



URL: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/star/531


To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.