We are proud to announce that we were published in Nature Communications in February for our work on skipping spheres. Our article called “Elastic Spheres Can Walk on Water” further clarifies understanding the interaction of fluid-elastic bodies during water impact. Here is the link to the full article, the abstract is below

Abstract: Incited by public fascination and engineering application, water-skipping of rigid stones and spheres has received considerable study. While these objects can be coaxed to ricochet, elastic spheres demonstrate superior water-skipping ability, but little is known about the effect of large material compliance on water impact physics. Here we show that upon water impact, very compliant spheres naturally assume a disk-like geometry and dynamic orientation that are favourable for water-skipping. Experiments and numerical modelling reveal that the initial spherical shape evolves as elastic waves propagate through the material. We find that the skipping dynamics are governed by the wave propagation speed and by the ratio of material shear modulus to hydrodynamic pressure. With these insights, we explain why softer spheres skip more easily than stiffer ones. Our results advance understanding of fluid-elastic body interaction during water impact, which could benefit inflatable craft modelling and, more playfully, design of elastic aquatic toys.

Some of our other posts on rock skipping can be found here and here.