To develop a basis for a better understanding of the behavior of the liquid phase in packed columns, liquid velocities and flow patterns were studied at several typical points in a column packed with 1.0-in. porcelain Raschig rings with a high-speed photographic technique. Liquid velocities were found to fluctuate rapidly with time. Laminar flow predominates, but mixing occurs at junctions between pieces of packing. A complex model is required to describe the behavior of the liquid phase in packed columns.