Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 90 min / session


18.354J Nonlinear Dynamics II: Continuum Systems; 18.355 Fluid Mechanics; and 12.800 Fluid Dynamics of the Atmosphere and Ocean, or 2.25 Fluid Mechanics.


This graduate-level course covers fluid systems dominated by the influence of interfacial tension. The roles of curvature pressure and Marangoni stress are elucidated in a variety of fluid systems. Particular attention is given to drops and bubbles, soap films and minimal surfaces, wetting phenomena, water-repellency, surfactants, Marangoni flows, capillary origami and contact line dynamics.


There is no required text for the course, which will be based on the lecture notes. However, the following are recommended supporting material.

Buy at Amazon Gennes, Pierre-Gilles de, Françoise Brochard-Wyart, and David Quéré. Capillarity and Wetting Phenomena: Drops, Bubbles, Pearls, Waves. Springer, 2003. ISBN: 9780387005928.

A readable and accessible treatment of a wide range of capillary phenomena.

Buy at Amazon Homsy, G. M. Multimedia Fluid Mechanics. Cengage Learning, 2011. ISBN: 9780521721691.

A DVD with an extensive section devoted to capillary effects.


Two problem sets 50%
Course project final paper 30%
Course project final presentation 20%


1 Introduction, Notation  
2 Definition and Scaling of Surface Tension  
3 Wetting  
4 Young's Law with Applications  
5 Stress Boundary Conditions  
6 More on Fluid Statics  
7 Spinning, Tumbling and Rolling Drops  
8 Capillary Rise Problem Set 1 due
9 Marangoni Flows  
10 Marangoni Flows II  
11 Fluid Jets  
12 Instability Dynamics  
13 Fluid Sheets  
14 Instability of Superposed Fluids  
15 Contact Angle Hysteresis, Wetting of Textured Solids  
16 More Forced Wetting Problem Set 2 due
17 Coating: Dynamic Contact Lines  
18 Spreading  
19 Water Waves Course project due