Self-organized levitating droplet clusters or “ordered fog”

Another interesting collaboration which I have during my sabbatical year (and it can continue after that) is with an unlikely place – Tyumen State University in Russia. Tyumen is a remote city in Siberia. Professor Alexander Fedorets from the TSU has discovered some 10 years ago an unusual effect: levitating clusters of microdroplets over a heated water surface. These droplets (similar to fog or mist) self-assemble into perfect hexagonal structures. Some scholars even consider it a new form of water (in addition to ice, vapor, liquid water, snow crystals, fog, etc.). Together with colleagues from Israel and Russia we are trying to better understand and explain this phenomenon. We have submitted a proposal for a research grant from the Russian Ministry of Science and Education and we are now waiting for the outcome.

Below is an amazing video of a droplet cluster by my colleagues and friends, Drs. A. Fedorets and L. Dombrovsky.