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Ever been kept awake by a dripping tap? Scientists solve what causes the maddening sound

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Scientists have solved the riddle behind one of the most recognisable and annoying household sounds: the dripping tap. And, what's more, they say squirting washing up liquid in the sink solves the maddening problem in seconds. Using ultra-high-speed cameras and modern audio capture techniques, researchers showed the'plink, plink' is not caused by the droplet itself hitting the water. Instead it's the waves, or oscillation, of a small bubble of air trapped beneath the surface. Researchers from the University of Cambridge's department of engineering used an ultra-high-speed camera, a microphone and a hydrophone to record droplets falling into a tank of water.


Here's What Makes a Dripping Faucet Go 'Plink'

National Geographic

It's the sound of water droplets falling one after another, maybe from a leaky faucet or through a cracked ceiling. It's the kind of sound that can keep you up all night. University of Cambridge engineer Anurag Agarwal feels your pain. While visiting a friend in Brazil in 2016, Agarwal couldn't ignore the water that steadily dripped through the leaky roof and fell into a bucket below. "It was a rainy period, and the downfall was torrential," he says.


Incredible slow motion footage shows drops of water spinning at 7,300 rpm

Daily Mail - Science & tech

A mesmerising video shows the moment a water droplet bounces off a surface and is made to spin at more than 7,300 revolutions per minute (RPM). The properties of a droplet change depending on what it hits and scientists have manipulated this process to make them gyrate. Scientists say the findings could allow for future developments for hydro-energy collection, self-cleaning and anti-icing. Researchers from the Institute of Chemistry, part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, say the observed process opens up a promising avenue for the delicate control of liquid motion. Huizeng Li and colleagues published the research in the journal Nature Communications and write in the abstract: 'Droplet impacting and bouncing off solid surface plays a vital role in various biological/ physiological processes and engineering applications.


Biological warfare! Bubbles containing trapped bacteria act as tiny 'microbial grenades'

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Bubbles containing trapped bacteria can act as tiny'microbial grenades', new research shows. Scientists found these tiny natural explosives had the power to launch microorganisms into the air at speeds of more than 30 feet (10m) a second. A single droplet is thought to carry up to thousands of microorganisms, and each bubble can emit hundreds of droplets. A bubble covered in bacteria floating on the water's surface also lasts ten times longer than an uncontaminated one, scientists also found. During this time the cap of the contaminated bubble gets thinner, according to researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).


How do clouds form? It's way more complex than we learned in school.

Christian Science Monitor | Science

The water cycle is one of the first science lessons children receive in elementary school. The lesson may go something like this: When water heats up, it turns from a liquid to a vapor. That water vapor rises up into the atmosphere, but it's colder up there. In the lower temperatures, the vapor begins to condense back into a liquid. Those tiny water droplets form clouds, and when the droplets grow large enough, they fall back down onto the Earth as raindrops or another form of precipitation.