MiS Preprint Repository

We have decided to discontinue the publication of preprints on our preprint server as of 1 March 2024. The publication culture within mathematics has changed so much due to the rise of repositories such as ArXiV ( that we are encouraging all institute members to make their preprints available there. An institute's repository in its previous form is, therefore, unnecessary. The preprints published to date will remain available here, but we will not add any new preprints here.

MiS Preprint

Floating and sinking of needles, nails and disks

Robert Finn


Explicit criteria are determined under which a long horizontal circular cylinder or a thin horizontal circular disk will float or not float in stable equilibrium on a liquid surface, under the influence of gravity and of surface tension. Attention is centered on configurations for which the density of the body exceeds that of the ambient liquid, so that in a downward gravity field there is no absolute energy minimum when the liquid bath is infinitely deep.

MSC Codes:
76B45, 53A10
floating bodies, capillary surfaces, surface tension

Related publications

2008 Repository Open Access
Robert Finn

Floating and sinking of needles, nails and disks