Myelin ﬁgures are long thin cylindrical structures that typically grow as a dense tangle when water is added to the concentrated lamellar phase of certain surfactants. Mylein figures were produced in isolation, allowing a detailed study of their growth and stability. Myelins only form and grow in the presence of a driving stress; when the stress is removed, the myelins retract.
Fluids change shape easily in response to stress. In some cases, the change is so dramatic that the ﬂuid interface changes topology. An example is ﬂuid entrainment by selective withdrawal. Here, a change in topology occurs when shear stresses cause the initially smooth interface between two immiscible ﬂuids to erupt into a spout that pierces through the entraining ﬂuid. Some ﬂuid transformations, such as drop breakup, proceed as some physical dimension approaches zero, becoming much smaller than the macroscopic dimensions of the ﬂows. Such a separation of length scales often leads to universal behavior as the dynamics approach a singularity where physical quantities diverge. Other ﬂuid transformations, such as selective withdrawal, proceed via a discontinuous jump, resembling ﬁrst-order hysteretic transitions.
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