Shreyas Mandre

University Associate Professor of Fluid-Structure Interaction
Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge


Dynamics of a camphoric acid boat at the air–water interface

Fluid Mechanics Surfactant

We report experiments on an agarose gel tablet loaded with camphoric acid (c-boat) spontaneously set into motion by surface tension gradients on the water surface. We observe three distinct modes of c-boat motion: harmonic mode where the c-boat speed oscillates sinusoidally in time, a steady mode where the c-boat maintains constant speed, and an intermittent mode where the c-boat maintains near-zero speed between sudden jumps in speed. Whereas all three modes have been separately reported before in different systems, controlled release of Camphoric Acid (CA) from the agarose gel matrix allowed the observation of all the three modes in the same system.