Droplets levitate on a cushion of blue light

Researchers have discovered a new way to levitate liquid droplets, which surprisingly also creates a mini light show, with the droplet sparking as it floats above a faint blue glowing gap. The floating effect is similar to Leidenfrost levitation — in which droplets dance on a hot vapor cushion. But by creating the vapor with a strong jolt of electricity instead of heat, the researchers found they could ionize the gas into a plasma that glowed a soft blue light. The work may offer an inexpensive new way to generate a freely movable microplasma, as well as yield insights into fundamental physics questions. —> Read More