Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Physics Behind Coffee Rings

Shreyas MandreAssistant Professor of Engineering
Credit: Mike Cohea/Brown University
Understanding the formation of ring-shaped stains under a coffee mug could lead to advances in printing, making industrial coatings, fabricating electronics, and designing new medicines. Shreyas Mandre, assistant professor of engineering, and collaborators have devised a predictive model that combines laboratory studies of microscopic glass particles in solution with mathematical theories to predict the existence, thickness and length of the banded ring patterns that formed. “Controlling the ring deposition process would be useful for creating such things as new microphysics tools operating at a scale where pliers or other traditional tools for moving particles cannot operate,” Mandre said.

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