New answers tagged experimental-technique
You can use diffraction of low energy electrons (to study the crystalline surface) or X-ray crystallography (you can get the surface orientation from that also).
This is sometimes called the "Cheerios effect". It basically occurs because each floating object forms a meniscus, and other floating objects want to "move downhill" in this meniscus. The meniscus forms (roughly speaking) because the interfaces between the spheres, the water, and the air form a preferred angle, known as the wetting angle. If one could ...
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