Researchers measure flow from a nanoscale fluid jet

Fluid jets are all around us: from inkjet printing, to the “Old Faithful” geyser in Yellowstone National Park, to cosmological jets several thousand light years long. A Northwestern University researcher with collaborators from Cambridge University, Oxford University, and Centro Nacional de Biotecnología have recently verified the classical Landau-Squire theory in the tiniest submerged jet. The diameter of their jets were in the range of 20 to 150 nanometers, which is the length of just a few hundred water molecules lined up in a row. “The flow rate from this nanojet is in the range of tens of pico liters per second,” said Sandip Ghosal, associate professor of mechanical engineering and (by courtesy) engineering sciences and applied mathematics at Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science. “At this rate, if you had started to fill a two-liter soda bottle at the time the first pyramid was being built in Egypt, the bottle would be about half full now.”   A research team has recently verified the classical Landau-Squire theory in the world’s tiniest submerged jet — in the range of 20 to 150 nanometers. A paper describing the research, “A Landau-Squire Nanojet,” was published October 14 in the journal Nano Letters.  

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