News of the WeekGerman Physical Society

Water Droplets Grow Faster Than Expected

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Science  24 Apr 2009:
Vol. 324, Issue 5926, pp. 453
DOI: 10.1126/science.324_453b

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At the German Physical Society meeting, researchers showed that, paradoxically, whereas water droplets in a crowd grow steadily with time, an isolated droplet grows faster as it gets bigger: Its volume increases in proportion to time raised to the 3/2 power. To prove it, they grew drops in isolation or in groups on a small finger of glass in a chamber in which they could control the temperature and humidity and then filmed the droplets condensing or evaporating.