Physicist Saw Video On IFLScience And Ended Up Writing A Scientific Study About It

So meta. Scott and a team from Universiteit Leiden in the Netherlands discovered it’s a new type of Leidenfrost effect that occurs with soft solid materials. Courtesy of Scott Waitukaitis

The “elastic Leidenfrost effect” is similar to that. Using a high-speed camera, the team observed that the gel-like balls create vapor when introduced to the hot surface, much like the water droplets. This basically sparks a feedback loop. When the balls create vapor beneath them, it deforms and squishes the gel ball. In turn, this allows more vapor to escape from underneath. This quickly creates a rippling gap under the ball that opens and closes thousands of times a second –  and results in a lot of bouncing and screeching.

You can watch the elastic Leidenfrost effect in the video from the researchers below.

Scott also got in contact with “Johnny”, the Ukrainian YouTuber and rapper who first filmed the video and originally inspired the study. After chatting for a while on Facebook, Johnny explained how he simply made the video for the purposes of going viral, along with a bit of child-like curiosity.

“It was an uninhibited way of trying new things – it’s a good skill. I think science can benefit from it a lot,” added Scott.

“I’m a big fan of science democratization and that’s why I like this project so much. With technology, you can start with a guy goofing around in Ukraine, the right eye sees it in the US, it gets passed on, then onto IFLScience, then we write a scientific paper on it!”

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