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A Single Drop of Water

Updated on May 22, 2013

Exciting Water Drops are Always in Motion

In my early years of parenting in a new home drops of water meant one thing - work.

It meant that a faucet was leaking, or a glass had toppled over, or someone sprayed the shower nozzle outside the tub. Science was not my area of interest, but when I returned to college a couple decades later to study art I developed a fascination with physics.

Exploring the physical effects of water from an aesthetic viewpoint adds an enjoyment formerly missing in my environment. This collection of photographs and videos demonstrates the simple phenomenons that explain how magnificent little bits of water assemble together in drops.

I captured a single drop of water, as it fell from my water filtration unit into my bowl of fresh cherries. It stands out clearly, against the white inside of the bowl, and its shadow is visible just below the drop.

Even when a single drop of water appears to be sitting there, stagnant, in fact, it is always moving around, shooting molecules into the air, in the process of evaporating, of moving from its liquid form into the form of water vapor, a gas.

This lens answers some basic questions about water drops:

1. How can water hold together in a drop shape?

2. Is there a simple experiment to show surface tension?

3. How can water float in the air?

4. What is a water drop's shape?

5. Does a small water drop reflect images?

Surface Tension

In certain conditions, water forms surface tension, a sort of invisible skin, as if the water molecules hold hands across to form a kind of chicken-wire structure that makes water bump out into a drop form.

This surface tension can be seen by pouring a small amount of water, say a couple tablespoons full, onto the countertop, or onto a flat plate. By looking from the side it is evident that the water sort of pooches up from the base.

Another example is to pour a tiny trickle of water along your finger, pointing down over the sink. Observe the water that accumulates into a drop shape at the end of your finger, when you stop pouring more water onto it. That water quickly forms a drop shape, held together by surface tension.

Pendant Drop

Upending a small diameter tube that contains a small amount of water is interesting. Observe how the water slowly begins to protrude out the bottom of the tube. Once the drop shape becomes heavy enough it was drop, to be replaced by the next pendant drop.

Small Drops

Tiny drops are called droplets. Droplets come out when we squeeze the trigger or plunger of a spray bottle. They are so small that they can hang in the air for a period of time.

Reflection

Due to the water's ability to bend the direction of light waves that pass through a water drop, reflections are visible. Notice the clear reflections on the drop of water shown on the bright green leaf below. Since we can magnify the size of the photographs we take of individual drops of water, we can even see the reflections they show to us.

Shape

Notice the ball-bearing shaped water drop against the white of the bowl insides, above the cherries. The drop clearly shows as round as a pea. Other photographs below show varying shapes of the water particles as they bounce back when they hit the water surface.

What's a drop of water that falls into a bowl of cherries? Full of potential, on the brink, about to show you the world!

Below are subsequent photos of the impact of this drop, as it landed in the water..

photo credit for the water drop in cherries photos:Leslie Sinclair.

Surface Tension Holds Drop in Shape

One Single Drop

In one

drop of water

are found

all the secrets

of the oceans.

Kahlil Gibran

In One Drop

Water Drop Reflects the Sky

Water Drop Reflects the Sky
Water Drop Reflects the Sky

Single Drops of Water

Do you often pause to reflect upon a single drop of water?

Yes, it's peaceful meditation for me.

Yes, it's peaceful meditation for me.

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    • Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      Yes. I don't meditate on it, I just observe it. I try to take pictures of water drops on things.

    Not me, I just wipe it up with a sponge.

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      Varying Shape of Water Drops

      I took this photo for the purpose of aesthetic experimentation with water in my kitchen sink.

      The water patterns were a play in geometry, so much more than a wet lemon.

      How My Interest In Water Drops Piqued

      I'm recently attracted to capturing water drops in movement, and this is a magnification of one tiny drop falling from a faucet into a bowl.

      Blue Dye Drop Lands in Milk

      Astounding sights are visible with high speed photography.

      TJBlackwell

      Pendant Drop Illustration

      Learn more about the science of forces that are active, in the pendant drop test.

      Pendant Drop

      Water Drops Like Never Seen at Home

      Water Drop Science

      How a Drop of Water Falls

      Watch this short video to see what actually happens as water drops fall from a faucet.

      If you're like me, you grew up dreading the sound of a leaking faucet, with it's pervasive drop drop drop sound, but as an adult the concept of dripping water is a source of fascination.

      Watch

      Meaning of Water In Your Life

      For much of the world's population water is a precious commodity and those of us with free access to clean running water may be more fortunate than we realize.

      For more information on some measures that people in underdeveloped regions use to clean their water Read Water Pure

      The Water Project is an organization that works to promote awareness and change so more people can access pure water.

      The Water Project

      Does water mean more to you than it did when you were a kid?

      Yes, since I understand the global reach of water scarcity and the need for purification.

      Yes, since I understand the global reach of water scarcity and the need for purification.

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        • Pat Goltz 4 years ago

          Yes, because I live in the desert. I don't buy into a lot of the claims about global scarcity, since there are lots of places that get plenty of clean rain, and if we can simply help people to have decent wells and pumps, they can have clean water.

        It's never been a concern for me. Just turn on the facet and watch it flow.

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          Paint, Draw & Photograph Water Drops

          Water Knows Itself

          "How could

          drops of water

          know themselves

          to be a river?"

          Antoine de Saint-Exupery

          Water Knows

          So Much More to Learn

          A Drop Of Water: A Book of Science and Wonder
          A Drop Of Water: A Book of Science and Wonder

          Choose which experiments to do from this inspiring guide for those who want to know water better.

           

          Tell Me More About Water

          From a Drop of Water - A Collection of Magickal Reflections on The Nature, Creatures, Uses and Symbolism of Water
          From a Drop of Water - A Collection of Magickal Reflections on The Nature, Creatures, Uses and Symbolism of Water

          Dive deeply into the mysteries and science of water.

          Learn even more by exploring the science and culture of water.

           

          Is the Nature of Water of Significance to You?

          Have you looked at a water droplet under a microscope, or even a magnifying glass?

          Yes, in school, and at home I've used a magnifying glass.

          Yes, in school, and at home I've used a magnifying glass.

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            • Pat Goltz 4 years ago

              I am particularly interested in the fact water expands as it freezes. Without that, life on earth would be impossible, and it's contrary to what most materials do. I can't say I recall whether I ever looked at water under a microscope, though.

            Not me, I just drink the stuff.

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              3-D Water Drops

              Water Drop Clear 3D Crystal Jigsaw Puzzle
              Water Drop Clear 3D Crystal Jigsaw Puzzle

              This is an intriguing puzzle that looks like a designer piece on the coffee table or desk.

              Interest the kids in learning more about the wonders of water.

               

              Did You Learn Anything About Water Drops?

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                • Close2Art LM profile image

                  Close2Art LM 4 years ago

                  very cool pics, love the page, Angel Blessings

                • HalloweenRecipes profile image

                  HalloweenRecipes 4 years ago

                  Great lens. I did learn something about water drops, I found out how much there is to know about them...and here I thought they were just another pretty picture.

                • profile image

                  Sundaycoffee 4 years ago

                  The photos are absolutely amazing, and so are the videos. I never really thought much about water and how it behaves in motion. Really intriguing - and beautiful, like everything in nature.

                • profile image

                  anonymous 4 years ago

                  What a cool science lesson on the water drop, absolutely fun and fascinating and your water drop pictures a fabulous, I noticed I was almost not breathing as I looked at them and then drew in a big deep breath of satisfaction. Congratulations on home page honors!

                • Rosaquid profile image

                  Rosaquid 4 years ago

                  Yes, I did. Fascinating!

                • Snowsprite profile image

                  Fay 4 years ago from Cornwall, UK

                  Wow amazing I just love to see the water drops captured. What a great idea for a lens.

                • Ardyn25 profile image

                  Ardyn25 4 years ago

                  I did! Great post.

                • ShariSmith profile image

                  ShariSmith 4 years ago

                  i so love the images :)

                • LizMac60 profile image

                  Liz Mackay 4 years ago from United Kingdom

                  Wonderful images. Most enjoyable. Blessed.

                • JoanieMRuppel54 profile image

                  Joanie Ruppel 4 years ago from Keller, Texas

                  Didn't have time to watch the videos but was intrigued by your subject matter and it's presentation. Nice job!

                • beffybooilu lm profile image

                  beffybooilu lm 4 years ago

                  Great picture choices in the lens! Squidmasters are right... Pictures do hold someone's attention!

                • katiecolette profile image

                  katiecolette 4 years ago

                  Love your photographs of water drops!

                • profile image

                  aquarian_insight 4 years ago

                  Such great pics! Beautiful. *blessed*

                • profile image

                  olmpal 4 years ago

                  You chose awesome photos! Great info too!

                • profile image

                  esichrissa 4 years ago

                  amazing photos, amazing drop of water!

                • Keith J Winter profile image

                  Keith Winter 4 years ago from Spain

                  Wow!! Amazing photos and interesting info.

                • PlethoraReader profile image

                  Matthew 4 years ago from Silicon Valley

                  I love the time you spent on the science just as much as the pictures. Blessed

                • OrganicMom247 profile image

                  OrganicMom247 4 years ago

                  I learned a lot. And the photos look great.

                • anne mohanraj profile image

                  anne mohanraj 4 years ago

                  An awesome lens!

                • jdwheeler profile image

                  jdwheeler 4 years ago

                  I did. Great idea for a lens.

                • Carashops profile image

                  Cara 4 years ago

                  Science, education and good photography. Inspiring lens.

                • siobhanryan profile image

                  siobhanryan 4 years ago

                  Great photos Blessed

                • Faye Rutledge profile image

                  Faye Rutledge 4 years ago from Concord VA

                  Awesome lens about water drops! Yes, I did learn! Thanks.

                • sunny saib profile image

                  sunny saib 4 years ago

                  What a topic for a lens and so nicely done! Love the pics! :)

                • Valerie Bloom profile image

                  Valerie Bloom 4 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

                  Fascinating and beautiful!

                • Rangoon House profile image

                  AJ 4 years ago from Australia

                  I learnt and I loved, especially your first two photographs. There is nothing as beautiful as nature.

                • blue22d profile image

                  blue22d 4 years ago

                  As one who likes to paint with watercolors, I can truly appreciate your lens. Beautiful pictures and documentation.

                • profile image

                  MarcellaCarlton 4 years ago

                  Yes, and I plan on sharing this lens with my nine year old grandson. We love to do science experiments. Great lens!

                • lesliesinclair profile image
                  Author

                  lesliesinclair 4 years ago

                  @MarcellaCarlton: Thanks so much. This is a great idea. Maybe he'll write and tell me how he likes it.

                • lesliesinclair profile image
                  Author

                  lesliesinclair 4 years ago

                  @blue22d: Thanks, those gorgeous photos captivate me every time.

                • lesliesinclair profile image
                  Author

                  lesliesinclair 4 years ago

                  @Rangoon House: Such a kind comment. I always feel refreshed after spending time in nature.

                • lesliesinclair profile image
                  Author

                  lesliesinclair 4 years ago

                  @sunny saib: Wish I'd had a microscope, as a child, because now I discover that the micro is as wondrous as the macro world.

                • Wednesday-Elf profile image

                  Wednesday-Elf 4 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

                  Fascinating. And really amazing how beautiful a photograph of a drop of water can be.

                • vinodkpillai lm profile image

                  vinodkpillai lm 4 years ago

                  I enjoyed being here - fantastic topic and content, great photographs and amazing videos - what more can one wish for? thanks!

                • TheBLU26 profile image

                  TheBLU26 4 years ago

                  Awesome lens! You take great photos too!

                • Motionmaker profile image

                  Motionmaker 4 years ago

                  Cool!

                • profile image

                  anonymous 4 years ago

                  I learned they can make for some great photos. Love the one of the drop on top of the flower.

                • Gayle Dowell profile image

                  Gayle Dowell 4 years ago from Kansas

                  Really great photos. It is amazing what the eye can miss with things in motion.

                • Anthony Altorenna profile image

                  Anthony Altorenna 4 years ago from Connecticut

                  Amazing photography!

                • CoolFool83 profile image

                  CoolFool83 4 years ago

                  Such a fascinating lense!

                • rasnasah profile image

                  rasnasah 4 years ago

                  Unique lens.Wow!

                • Michael Oksa profile image

                  Michael Oksa 4 years ago

                  Great idea for a lens! It shows that there is much more complexity in the simple things than most people realize.

                • ArslanSultan profile image

                  ArslanSultan 4 years ago

                  some useful suggestions here, thanks for sharing!

                • kathysart profile image

                  kathysart 4 years ago

                  I wrote a poem called "A Single Drop of Water" ~ I guess we found the same appreciation for that. :)

                • Lady Lorelei profile image

                  Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

                  Water is very relaxing to me so I can see how it fascinates so many others as well. I love your photos they are fantastic.

                • Pat Goltz profile image

                  Pat Goltz 4 years ago

                  Very nice lens! I love your photos. I especially like the one of the dye dropping into milk.

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