Capillary Emptying and Short-Range Wetting. Articles uri icon

publication date

  • June 2012

issue

  • 24

volume

  • 108

international standard serial number (ISSN)

  • 0031-9007

electronic international standard serial number (EISSN)

  • 1079-7114

abstract

  • We consider a liquid trapped in a narrow horizontal capillary, under the influence of gravity. As the slit is widened, the meniscus, separating the capillary liquid from gas, deforms and develops a long tongue extending along the bottom wall. As a critical slit width is approached, the length of the tongue diverges continuously, leading to the emptying of the capillary. We show that the critical singularities characterizing emptying are the same as those at short-ranged wetting transitions, but at a scale set by the capillary length rather than the bulk correlation length. These meso-or macroscopic versions of both complete and critical wetting are observable in the laboratory and are studied here using a colloid-polymer mixture.