Why All Faucet Drips Have the Same Shape

Published in Science, 13 Jul 2012

To some, the “drip, drip” of a leaky faucet is a minor irritation; to physicists, it’s a great example of the predictive powers of science. In 1996, theoretical work suggested that, as a water drop hangs from a faucet, its cone-shaped neck should always have the same internal angle at break-off: 36.2°. That was an ambitious prediction given the hugely complex dynamics of dripping water, but it was also very difficult to test with any accuracy. Now, thanks to modern technology, researchers have finally plugged all doubts. […]

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