As much as we love water (and being made mostly of water, we're kind of obligated to love it), from time to time it gets a little bit, you know, annoying. Like, things get wet. Ugh. This is intolerable. And we don't have to tolerate it, because we're all kinds of clever, and we've got these crazy hydrophobic coatings that can keep water off of everything.
There are several different sorts of nanostructures that can be used to make water try to flee, including nanoscopic posts and nanoscopic channels. Such structures allow air underneath the terrified little droplets of water, and on short timescales, water droplets can be observed to bounce up and down like scared little balls. Researchers at BYU are seeing how water interacts with these different types of surfaces in a variety of dynamic situations like splashing, flowing, and boiling, in an attempt to quantify which types of hydrophobic structures or coatings are most effective when.
The video below shows slow-motion footage of many of these tests, and it's fun to see how little water acts like water when influenced by technology.
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