Physikalisches Kolloquium: Intrinsic properties of fluid interfaces

May 12
12. May 2021 12:00 - 13:00

Intrinsic properties of fluid interfaces

Interfacial effects often challenged our understanding of liquids and
gases: a prominent example is the rise of liquids in capillaries.
Inexplicable by the laws of hydrostatics, this phenomenon was crucial
for understanding the range and strength of molecular forces and is a
fine example of a macroscopic measurement that gives us access to the
microscopic world. Understanding and controlling interfaces has become
an essential part of modern science and technology, considering, for
example, applications in material science, catalysis or microfluidics.

The usual concept of an interface, however useful, is deeply rooted in
a continuous, macroscopic description of reality, and it becomes
increasingly less accurate the more powerful the magnifying glass we
use to investigate matter. The presence of spontaneous, thermal
capillary waves complicates this picture even more. Capillary waves
can prevent a proper measure of interfacial properties, as their
amplitude diverges logarithmically with the interfacial
cross-sectional area.

In this talk, I will discuss some of these difficulties and present
several computer simulation results that show the peculiar properties
of atoms and molecules residing right at the interface between fluid
phases or components. Also, I will show how much information on the
interfacial structure and dynamics can be recovered by undoing the
smearing effect of capillary waves using carefully devised algorithms.

Sprecher: Dr. Marcello Sega, Forschungszentrum Jülich, Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nürnberg for Renewable Energy

Kontakt: Department Physik

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Meeting-ID: 667 0026 4537