Water droplets make for an aMazing film

Physics students have created an entrancing film showing how water droplets can make their own way through a metal maze.

The film features a maze built out of aluminium blocks, designed by the students to demonstrate how water droplets can be made to move in different directions when they come into contact with a heated metal surface.  

Students Carmen Cheng and Matthew Guy used this ‘Leidenfrost effect’ to build their Leidenfrost Maze, to use in workshops and events with local school children.

Carmen said: “The kit was taken to numerous schools and outreach activities in the Bath area and was shown to students of all ages, from students considering universities to children who had not even started school. The piece never failed to surprise and amaze audiences. It was rewarding to witness their faces light up with fascination and to be bombarded with questions afterwards. Even parents and teachers were thanking us for showing them such a wonderful and unique piece.”

Dr Kei Takashina from the Department of Physics, who supervised the project with Dr Alessandro Narduzzo, said: “We decided to use the Leidenfrost effect for outreach activities with local school children and the public because we felt that the behaviour of the water droplets had some unique aesthetic qualities that might help engage new audiences.  Young people have been captivated by the maze and now the students hope that many more people can enjoy the film and be inspired by science.”

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