Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Physics secrets of giant bubbles

A study inspired by street performers making gigantic soap bubbles led to a discovery in fluid mechanics: Mixing different molecular sizes of polymers within a solution increases the ability of a thin film to stretch without breaking. The journal Physical Review Fluids published the results of the study by physicists at Emory University.

The 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. The results also hold implications for backyard bubble-blowing enthusiasts.

“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.

Click here to read the full story, including Burton's favorite recipe to make your own giant soap bubbles.

Emory physicist Justin Burton, left, experiments with giant soap bubbles on the Quad with Stephen Frazier, who received his masters in physics from Emory and is first author of the discovery. 

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