Journal of Fluid Mechanics


On the elasticity of an inertial liquid shock

a1 Laboratoire de Physique de la Matière Condensée, FRE 2844 du CNRS, Collège de France 75231 Paris Cedex 05, France
a2 Institut de Recherche sur les Phénomènes Hors Équilibre, UMR 6594 du CNRS BP 146, 13384 Marseille Cedex, France

Article author query
biance a   [Google Scholar] 
chevy f   [Google Scholar] 
clanet c   [Google Scholar] 
lagubeau g   [Google Scholar] 
quere d   [Google Scholar] 


A drop of low viscosity hitting a solid may bounce, provided that the material is highly hydrophobic. As a model of such a situation, we consider here the case of a very hot solid. Then, as discovered by Leidenfrost, a thin layer of vapour sustains the drop, preventing any contact with the substrate. On hitting such a solid, a drop rebounds, and we discuss here the elasticity of the shock. Two very different cases are described: at a large velocity, the weaker the impact velocity, the weaker the elasticity; at a small velocity, a quasi-elastic regime is found. The boundary between the two domains is set by a Weber number, which compares the kinetic and surface energies of the drop, of order unity.

(Published Online April 24 2006)
(Received September 26 2005)
(Revised January 10 2006)