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The Formation Of Emulsions In Definable Fields Of Flow

G. I. Taylor
Published 1934 · Physics

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The physical and chemical condition of emulsions of two fluids which do not mix has been the subject of many studies, but very little seems to be known about the mechanics of the stirring processes which are used in making them. The conditions which govern the breaking up of a jet of one fluid projected into another have been studied by Rayleigh and others, but most of these studies have been concerned with the effect of surface tension or dynamical forces in making a cylindrical thread unstable so that it breaks into drops. The mode of formation of the cylindrical thread has not been discussed. As a rule in experimental work it has been formed by projecting one liquid into the other under pressure through a hole. It seems that studies of this kind which neglect the disruptive effect of the viscous drag of one fluid on the other, though interesting in themselves, tell us very little about the manner in which two liquids can be stirred together to form an emulsion. When one liquid is at rest in another liquid of the same density it assumes the form of a spherical drop. Any movement of the out er fluid (apart from pure rotation or translation) will distort the drop owing to the dynamical and viscous forces which then act on its surface. Surface tension, however, will tend to keep the drop spherical. When the drop is very small, or the liquid very viscous, the stresses due to inertia will be small compared with those due to viscosity.

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