Cosmology in a Petri dish

January 26, 2012
Identical particles trapped at the interface between two fluids and deforming it due to an external force acting on each of them. Credit: Springer

Scientists have found that micron-size particles which are trapped at fluid interfaces exhibit a collective dynamic that is subject to seemingly unrelated governing laws. These laws show a smooth transitioning from long-ranged cosmological-style gravitational attraction down to short-range attractive and repulsive forces. The study by Johannes Bleibel from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart, Germany, and his colleagues has just been published in the European Physical Journal E.

The authors used so-called that are larger than molecules but too small to be observed with the naked eye. These particles are adsorbed at the interface between two fluids and assembled into a . This constitutes a 2D model in which particles that are larger than a micron deform the interface through their own weight and generate an effective long-range attraction which looks like gravitation in 2D. Thus, the particles assemble in clusters.

To model long-range forces between particles, the researchers used based on random movement of particles, known as Brownian dynamics. Here, they took advantage of the formal analogy between so-called capillary attraction – the long-ranged interaction through interface deformation – and . They used a particle-mesh method as employed in simulations of what are known as self-gravitating fluids, corresponding to the collapse of a system under its own gravity, traditionally used in cosmological studies.

The authors also found that this long-range interaction no longer matters beyond a certain length determined by the properties of both the particles and the interface, and short-range forces come into play. This means that for systems exceeding this length, particles first tend to self-assemble into several clusters which eventually merge into a single, large cluster.

The study of monolayer aggregates of micron-size colloids is used as a template for nanoparticles deposited onto substrates in nanotechnology applications.

Explore further: Janus particles offer new physics, new technology

More information: Bleibel J, Domınguez A, Oettel M, Dietrich S (2011). Collective dynamics of colloids at fluid interfaces, European Physical Journal E (EPJ E) 34:125, DOI: 10.1140/epje/i2011-11125-2

Related Stories

Janus particles offer new physics, new technology

March 13, 2006

In Roman mythology, Janus was the god of change and transition, often portrayed with two faces gazing in opposite directions. At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Janus particles are providing insight into the ...

Repulsive interactions

February 5, 2010

( -- The recent state of the roads is a clear illustration of what happens when water freezes into crystals of ice. But despite its frequent occurrence, the crystallisation of water is remarkably difficult to ...

Physicists develop potent packing process

February 28, 2011

New York University physicists have developed a method for packing microscopic spheres that could lead to improvements in commercial products ranging from pharmaceutical lotions to ice cream. Their work, which relies on an ...

Flowing structures in soft crystals

August 8, 2011

What is common to blood, ink and gruel? They are all liquids in which tiny particles are suspended – so called “colloids”. In some of these liquids, the particles form groups (clusters), which form regular ...

Recommended for you

Test racetrack dipole magnet produces record 16 tesla field

November 30, 2015

A new world record has been broken by the CERN magnet group when their racetrack test magnet produced a 16.2 tesla (16.2T) peak field – nearly twice that produced by the current LHC dipoles and the highest ever for a dipole ...

Turbulence in bacterial cultures

November 30, 2015

Turbulent flows surround us, from complex cloud formations to rapidly flowing rivers. Populations of motile bacteria in liquid media can also exhibit patterns of collective motion that resemble turbulent flows, provided the ...

CERN collides heavy nuclei at new record high energy

November 25, 2015

The world's most powerful accelerator, the 27 km long Large Hadron Collider (LHC) operating at CERN in Geneva established collisions between lead nuclei, this morning, at the highest energies ever. The LHC has been colliding ...


Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

not rated yet Jan 26, 2012
Fractal Universe
1 / 5 (2) Jan 26, 2012
AWT uses dense aether model which supports the Le-Sage gravity shielding theory, in which the attractive gravitational force are generated with shielding of superluminal waves. In water surface model these waves are represented with underwater Brownian noise (essentially the sound waves), so that the above colloid model is essentially quite good 2D analogy of the 3D gravity model. It's essentially a Casimir effect.

At the plain water surface the particles are glued with short distance (surface tension) forces, which cover these subtle shielding forces. The existence of phase interface should reduce the effect of surface tension a bit and it should make it more physically realistic model of gravity.

From AWT follows, the cold dark matter effect is formed with shielding of gravity effect with neighboring massive objects and this behavior should therefore manifest inside of this colloidal system too.
1 / 5 (2) Jan 26, 2012
Note that in this model the hydrophilic spheres somewhat correspond the particles of matter and the hydrophobic spheres correspond the antimatter particles - they repel mutually at proximity, yet they're still both attracted with shielding "gravity" force at distance.

Anyway, I'm quite surprised with spontaneity, in which the gravity is interpreted with this surface phenomena - because such comparison actually implies the validity of Le-Sage theory, superluminal gravity waves and many other aspects of dense aether model, which the proponents of mainstream science here refused and downvoted for years. Now some physicists are using it carelessly - and nobody is impressed with it, protesting against it the less.

Arthur Schopenhauer "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."
1 / 5 (2) Jan 26, 2012
For those interested, there is a preprint: and related work

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.