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Condensed microscopic view wins Nikon Small World Inmotion Award

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Condensation may appear to be an unobtrusive part of everyday life. I’ve dealt with it by wiping the mirror in the bathroom after the shower or putting the coaster under cold glass, but I don’t think much more.

However, condensation also affects the efficiency of home appliances and home heating systems. “Think about everything from keeping pipes freezing in the winter to making your air conditioning units work more efficiently,” Kajirabi said in a statement to Nikon.

From the winning video of the 2020 Nikon Small World In Motion Competition, with Kajirabi … [+] Small swallow. Their video magnifies the internal flow dynamics of fused microdroplets 20x at 200x speed.

Kaji Fuzzle Rabbi & Xiao Yang

Rabbi is a graduate student in fluid mechanics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Together with the postdoctoral fellow Xiao Yan, Rabbi made a video of the internal flow dynamics of the coalescing microdroplets. Their video shows that the process of fusing microdroplets of 80% water and 20% ethanol has slowed down 200 times.

Rabbi and Yan are studying how the material promotes condensation and repels liquids from the surface.

If we can develop liquid-repellent surfaces and materials, we will be able to develop electricity, power systems, and other technologies that require less energy to run, “Rabbi explains.

In their winning video, the water droplets react to the surface designed by Rabbi and Yang. Capturing the coalescence of droplets required careful control of droplet formation and growth and checking the illumination using a high-speed camera.

The 2nd and 3rd place winners of the contest are two very different videos that showcase various studies using microscopes.

Marine biologist Richard Kirby was ranked second in the video of larvae of foronoids or horseshoe worms and third in the video of cytoplasmic streaming in James Tandock’s onion cells.

The Nikon Small World in Motion Contest started in 2011 as a by-product of the existing Nikon Small World Contest, which awards the best still images taken under a microscope. The jury for this 10th Nikon Small World Inmotion Competition consisted of a panel of scientists and imaging experts. Imaging technology is constantly improving and microscopy is used in many different research areas, so their work has been cut off, but in the end, Rabbi and Yan’s videos are both microscopic and imaging. Turned out to be the best entry of the year to show your skills. Application of microscopes in their research.

After all, videos like this aren’t just fun to watch, they help researchers understand the microscopic aspects of their work. Research like Rabbi and Yan could lead to new materials that can be used, for example, to create more energy-saving equipment. As the rabbi says, “it may lead to a more sustainable future.”

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