Shape of a drop in an electric field

Michael J. Miksis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

127 Scopus citations


The shape of an axisymmetric dielectric drop in a uniform electric field is computed numerically. The problem is formulated as a nonlinear integro-differential system of equations. They are discretized and the resulting algebraic system is solved by Newton's method. The results show that when the dielectric constant ε is larger than a critical value εc, the drop develops two obtuse-angled conical points at its ends for a certain field strength. For ε < εc, the drop elongates and retains its original nearly prolate spheroidal shape without developing conical points as the field is increased. The numerical results are in good agreement with the moment and two-point approximations. The energy, volume, and area of the drop are computed, and the two-dimensional case is also treated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1967-1972
Number of pages6
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1981

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


Dive into the research topics of 'Shape of a drop in an electric field'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this