Video: A Tiny Bridge of Floating Water

David Pescovitz blogged about this phenomenon previously, but until now I'd never seen a water bridge caught on video. PhysOrg explains:
When exposed to a high-voltage electric field, water in two beakers climbs out of the beakers and crosses empty space to meet, forming the water bridge. The liquid bridge, hovering in space, appears to the human eye to defy gravity... Initially, the bridge forms due to electrostatic charges on the surface of the water. The electric field then concentrates inside the water, arranging the water molecules to form a highly ordered microstructure. This microstructure remains stable, keeping the bridge intact.
After the jump, check out more video of this crazy weird awesome phenom.Spiral flow visualization Density gradients Two thermographic visualizations Laser deflection
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7 Responses to Video: A Tiny Bridge of Floating Water

  1. David B. says:

    Can this support any weight other than it’s own?

    That would be even more interesting…

    BTW, do you have a link that details how to reproduce this experiment?

  2. Adam Nix says:

    Playing all these videos at once is like being at some weird art installation.

  3. JamesPadraicR says:

    I doubt that it would be possible on large scale, or hold more than its own weight.

    What I’m wondering is, if one of the beakers has food coloring, would the color siphon (can’t think of better word) to the other?

  4. overunger says:

    So…. possible to do this in large scale? Hmm? Hmm??

  5. Multiplicity says:

    I love these clips and I think this kind of thing can provide the opportunity for some really interesting physics. At this level it is possible to create a visualisation of quantum effects. Brownian motion is such a phenomenon. A Bayesian approach is best, think of an experiment, think of what outcomes might occur and what hypotheses would explain these outcomes, then see what happens. For example, if the water is as pure as possible and then you add small amount of atoms, molecules, nano particles, how does that effect the motion of the fluid, the length of sustainable pipe, the manner of fracture when it breaks, what does it tell us about the structural tensions inside the liquid? Change the temperature and what changes occur? Change the outside air pressure, provide ultrasonic vibrations to the glass jars, microwave the liquid to add energy to the tube, etc.

    Surface tension is ultimately a quantum phenomenon, the normal push and break actions of a liquid full of motion of molecules become a pull and hold, but for how long, do they stay there at the surface or is it a statistical hold, a jostling crowd still but one where motion is restricted to some degree. This is a fascinating world about which I think we know very little. Maybe we could have a similar bridge with two heavy gases in each jar, would a bridge also form?

    Have fun

    PS _ I know there is no such thing as temperature and pressure at this level so please excuse the shorthand.

  6. alowishus says:

    I am reminded of The Abyss.

  7. dculberson says:

    And here I thought World of Goo was fictional.

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