Scientists from the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IChF PAN) in Warsaw observed a peculiar behavior of water drops. A group of researchers led by Dr Jan Guzowski, in cooperation with scientists from Princeton University, for the first time registered the formation of clumps of droplets self-organizing into more complex structures during the flow through microchannels.
Scientists kept the droplets a short distance away and observed that they began to form a chain that folded and even coiled to resemble a braided string with repeating knots.
This state was transient until the droplets merged into one large drop. However, the “lifetime” of these short-lived but intriguing structures was long enough to allow a good look at all stages of their formation and even control the behavior of individual segments.