Symmetry of small clusters of levitating water droplets
Self-assembled clusters of condensed water microdroplets can levitate over a locally heated layer of water. Large clusters form hexagonally ordered (honeycomb) structures similar to colloidal crystals, while small (from one to several dozens of droplets) clusters possess special symmetry properties. Small clusters may demonstrate 4-fold, 5-fold, and 7-fold symmetry which is absent from large clusters and crystals. The symmetry properties of small cluster configurations are universal, i.e., they do not depend on the size of the droplets and details of the interactions between the droplets. The small cluster configurations may be compared with other types of symmetric objects in geometry.