Anorak News | How to blow a massive soap bubble

How to blow a massive soap bubble

by | 5th, February 2020

In the journal Physical Review Fluids we read the research and findings of physicists at Emory University. Their mission: to find the perfect way to blow a massive bubble. The University says that besides being a lot of fun, their findings “could potentially lead to improving processes such as the flow of oils through industrial pipes and the clearance of polluting foams in streams and rivers”. That’s how you get finding to blow bubbles.

“This study definitely puts the fun into fundamental science,” says Justin Burton, associate professor of physics at Emory University and senior author of the paper.

Fluid dynamics is one of the focuses of Burton’s lab. “The processes of fluid dynamics are visually beautiful and they are everywhere on our planet, from the formation and breakup of droplets and bubbles to the aerodynamics of airplanes and the deep-sea overturning of the world’s oceans,” he says…

“We basically started making bubbles and popping them, and recorded the speed and dynamics of that process. Focusing on a fluid at its most violent moments can tell you a lot about its underlying physics…

“The polymer strands become entangled, something like a hairball, forming longer strands that don’t want to break apart. In the right combination, a polymer allows a soap film to reach a ‘sweet spot’ that’s viscous but also stretchy — just not so stretchy that it rips apart…

“We did the physics to explain why and how polymers can make a fluid film stretch as far as 100 square meters without breaking.”

Bubble, eh. We’re mad for ’em:

Spotter: Emory University

Posted: 5th, February 2020 | In: Strange But True Comment | TrackBack | Permalink