Influence of slip on the Plateau–Rayleigh instability on a fibre
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The Plateau-Rayleigh instability of a liquid column underlies a variety of fascinating phenomena that can be observed in everyday life. In contrast to the case of a free liquid cylinder, describing the evolution of a liquid layer on a solid fibre requires consideration of the solid-liquid interface. Here we revisit the Plateau-Rayleigh instability of a liquid coating a fibre by varying the hydrodynamic boundary condition at the fibre-liquid interface, from no slip to slip. Although the wavelength is not sensitive to the solid-liquid interface, we find that the growth rate of the undulations strongly depends on the hydrodynamic boundary condition. The experiments are in excellent agreement with a new thin-film theory incorporating slip, thus providing an original, quantitative and robust tool to measure slip lengths.