A Single Drop of Water
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
drop of water
all the secrets
of the oceans.
In One Drop
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.
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.
Pendant Drop Illustration
Learn more about the science of forces that are active, in the pendant drop test.
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.
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.
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.
Paint, Draw & Photograph Water Drops
Water Knows Itself
drops of water
to be a river?"
Antoine de Saint-Exupery
So Much More to Learn
Choose which experiments to do from this inspiring guide for those who want to know water better.
Waterproof Digital Picture Taking
Take your own photographs of water drops.
Tell Me More About 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.
3-D Water Drops
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.