The “Cheerios effect”

  title={The “Cheerios effect”},
  author={Dominic Vella and Lakshminarayanan Mahadevan},
  journal={American Journal of Physics},
Objects that float at the interface between a liquid and a gas interact because of interfacial deformation and the effect of gravity. We highlight the crucial role of buoyancy in this interaction, which, for small particles, prevails over the capillary suction that often is assumed to be the dominant effect. We emphasize this point using a simple classroom demonstration, and then derive the physical conditions leading to mutual attraction or repulsion. We also quantify the force of interaction… 
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