Field-Fluid Interactions

Strong electric fields can manipulate fluids in unexpected ways that our research group is just begining to scratch the surface of. On the left is a video of water rising up between two electrodes as the electric field is increased. This is a visceral example of how strong electric fields can manipulate fluids and it is a more subtle phenomenon than might be expected. For example, with electrolytes the electric double layer is crucial to understanding their behavior. At the high electric field strengths steric effecs preventing ions from crowding at the electrodes create unexpected behavior, at certain field strengths reducing the the height rise and at others boosting it. Perhaps more useful is electric field's impact on liquid vapor equilibria. While it is well known that electric fields can alter liquid-vapor equilibrium, driving equilibria towards the liquid phase.