Bubbles Through Constrictions

Surface tension usually constrains bubbles to the smallest area for a given volume – a sphere – but sometimes other forces generate more complicated geometries. The images above show bubbles flowing through microfluidic channels filled with a highly viscous carrier fluid. The bubble size and packing affects the shapes they assume, but so does the geometry of the channel. The narrow constrictions accelerate the flow, elongating the bubbles, whereas the wider channel regions slow the carrier fluid and squish the bubbles together. (Image credit: M. Sauzade and T. Cubaud (Stony Brook University))

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