For a limited set of impact conditions, a drop impacting onto a pool can entrap an air bubble as large as its own size. The subsequent rise and rupture of this large bubble plays an important role in aerosol formation and gas transport at the air-sea interface. The large bubble is formed when the impact crater closes up near the pool surface and is known to occur only for drops that are prolate at impact. Herein we use experiments and numerical simulations to show that a concentrated vortex ring, produced in the neck between the drop and the pool, controls the crater deformations and pinchoff. However, it is not the strongest vortex rings that are responsible for the large bubbles, as they interact too strongly with the pool surface and self-destruct. Rather, it is somewhat weaker vortices that can deform the deeper craters, which manage to pinch off the large bubbles. These observations also explain why the strongest and most penetrating vortex rings emerging from drop impacts are not produced by oblate drops but by more prolate drop shapes, as had been observed in previous experiments.
Bibliographical noteKAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: The research reported in this publication was supported
by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology