Jun 18, 2019 | Updated: 05:32 PM EDT

Upgrading forensics through the periodic table of droplets

Mar 05, 2019 07:35 AM EST

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Cornell University scientists discovered a connection between liquid droplets and their unique properties. 

Until recently, movements of droplets do not have any classification although its significance in the industry cannot be undermined. 

Liquid droplets have their own unique resonance and come in different shapes and act differently. This is a result of the complex interrelationship between the connection of the liquid, solid, and gas that the droplets interact with. 

Lead researcher and professor of engineering at the said university Paul Steen and his colleagues created a periodic table of droplet motions. This is based on the atomic orbitals' symmetries that influence the position of the elements on the classic periodic table and the energies that influence the shapes of droplets. 

Their study entitled Droplet Motions Fill a Periodic Table was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Steen posted in his study, "The question was, can we put these in some sort of organization that allows us to make a little more sense out of them?" 

"The ordering is much like the periodic table of chemical elements," he said. "We go from higher energy to lower energy, left to right, top to bottom."

Distinctive shape symmetries are the basis of the classification of these droplet motions. 

Steen explained that these are called motion-elements. A single mode of a motion of a droplet is dependent on several variables. "You can use combinations of these to understand motion-molecules."

It was found out that the vibration of the first 35 predicted motion elements has a contact angle of about 60 degrees. 

One possible application for this periodic table involves solving crimes through forensics. Scientists can relate how a drop of blood can be determined through the classification of the periodic table. 

"Once you recognize what a particular motion can be decomposed into, it tells you more about where it originated," he said.

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