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Published on Dec 2, 2008
When a droplet is gently laid on the surface of a same liquid, it stays at rest for a moment on the surface. This is due to the slow drainage of a thin air layer between the droplet and the bath surface. When a certain critical thickness of the thin air layer is attained, coalescence occurs. The coalescence can be delaied and sometimes inhibited by injecting fresh air under the droplet. This happens when the surface of the bath vertically oscillates, the droplet simply bounces on the interface. Here is a winning movie from the gallery of fluid motion 2006