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Mathematics (HMC)

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This article develops a model for the closing of a gaseous hole in a liquid domain within a two-dimensional fluid layer coupled to a Stokesian subfluid substrate, and compares this model to experiments following hole dynamics in a polymer Langmuir monolayer. Closure of such a hole in a fluid layer is driven by the line tension at the hole boundary and the difference in surface pressure within the hole and far outside it. The observed rate of hole closing is close to that predicted by our model using estimates of the line tension obtained by other means, assuming that the surface pressure in the gas is negligible. This result both supports the model and suggests an independent means of determining the line tension. Unlike most previous hydrodynamics models of Langmuir films, the closing of a hole necessarily involves vertical motion of the underlying incompressible fluid. Fluid is dragged along with the liquid monolayer towards the center of the hole, and must plunge away from the surface. An explicit expression is found for this vertical fluid flow in the bulk substrate.

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© 2006 American Institute of Physics

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