Predictions of the dominant unstable wavelength and the minimum heat flux during film boiling above a flat plate are found to be inapplicable in the case of boiling on small wires. New expressions are developed for the case of a horizontal cylinder, by accounting for the effect of surface tension in the transverse direction upon the Taylor instability of the interface. Original measurements of wavelengths and minimum heat fluxes on small wires are also provided. These data support the predictions.

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