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A starburst of wrinkles form in a thin film material when a drop of water is placed on the film as it floats in water. These remarkably simple experiments, done with a pool of water in a Petri dish and a low-magnification microscope, give researchers insight into whether the material properties of ultrathin films differ from their properties in bulk quantities.
Published in Huang et al., "Capillary wrinkling of floating thin films", Science 317, 650 (2007). Read more: National Science Foundation.
Image credit: Jiangshui Huang, University of Massachusetts, Amherst