Strong Bubbles

About those strong bubbles. First, what is a bubble?

According to Wikipedia:

A soap bubble is a very thin film of soapy water that forms a sphere with an iridescent surface. Soap bubbles usually last for only a few moments before bursting, either on their own or on contact with another object. Before they pop on their own, the bubble itself usually starts to thin, then it reaches a point where it can thin out no more and it pops. They are often used for children’s enjoyment, but their usage in artistic performances shows that they can also be fascinating for adults. Soap bubbles can help solving complex mathematical problems of space, as they will always find the smallest surface area between points or edges, for example.

Surface tension causes the layer of soap to act as an elastic sheet with the water forming the bubble. Liquids have surface tension and it draws them together. Have you ever seen 2 drops of mercury get close to each other and then suddenly become one drop? That is surface tension. Another example easy for children to see is when rain drops are running down the window. When they get close to another rain drop they join together and become a larger rain drop.

This is all a part of the laws of physics.

If you just let a bubble sit on the table or your hand, it will eventually pop because the water evaporates and the surface tension is too much as the bubble contracts. You can freeze bubbles but you have to have the temperature at -15 degrees Celsius. (5 degrees F).

A Chicago company called Chemtoy began selling bubble solution in the 1940s, and they have captivated children ever since. According to one industry estimate, retailers sell around 200 million bottles annually, perhaps more than any other toy.

What we did was add glycerin to our soap and water mixture. This makes the bubble stronger. Then we tested our bubbles.

(FYI the trick to making the solution produce really strong bubbles is to let it sit at least overnight before you start using it.)

If you try to catch a bubble with your bare hand, you will most likely pop it because of the dirt and oil on your hand breaks the surface tension of the soap and water bubble. If you put on a soft fabric glove, you can catch the “strong” bubbles and bounce them around. Or you can just hold one in your hand until it evaporates and pops. It is great fun. Here is the recipe we used for our strong bubble mixture.

Strong Bubble Ingredients:

* Cup of distilled or bottled water

* Tablespoon of dish soap

* Teaspoon of Glycerin

* Bubble wand or straw

Be sure to let it sit for 24 hours. Then you can blow and bounce to your heart’s content.

About WF Staff

Washington FAMILY Staff

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