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Is There a Maximum Size of Water Drops in Nature?
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12.physicscentral.com/explore/sots/index.cfm, Science on the ISS from astronaut Don Pettit; in particular, see videos of episode 13: playing around with large spheres of liquid water, episode
13.rupturing small water-filled balloons, observing shock waves, and episode 5: injecting air bubbles into water spheres.
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In nature, water drops can have a large variety of sizes and shapes. Small droplets with diameters of the order of 5 to 10 μm are present in fog and clouds. This is not sufficiently large for gravity to dominate their behavior. In contrast, raindrops typically have sizes of the order of 1 mm, with observed maximum sizes in nature of around 5 mm in tropical rain showers. Electric fields in the atmosphere lead to the largest sizes. 1 Raindrops in natural rain showers cannot reach arbitrarily large sizes. Which factors govern the maximum size of water drops?
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