Welcome to the Physical Ecology Group at the University of Lincoln
Although organisms obey the same physical laws as inanimate objects the evolutionary implications of these laws are often neglected. Physical factors influence the fitness value of traits and play an important role in the course of evolution. These are the areas of investigation that interest us.
Giving droplets a kick by accelerating the surface they sit on creates elaborate shapes as the drops respond. As the surface accelerates upward, the droplet flattens into a pancake. When the plate slows down, the droplet continues rising, stretching into a cone as its rim flies upward and its lower surface adheres to the surface. The rim retracts with a constant acceleration while the drop detaches with a constant velocity. That velocity depends on how well it adheres to the surface. The interplay between those two variables determines how conical or cylindrical the drop appears. See more in the full video below. (Image and video credit: P. Chantelot et al.)