Phenomena

“Bubble Circus”

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The “Bubble Circus” is a delightful outreach device equipped for all manner of physics demos, as seen in the video above. Many of its exercises explore surface tension, a force observed at the interface of a fluid. Surface tension is what provides bubbles with their surface-minimizing spherical shape. That same property determines the minimal distance between the four vertices of a pyramid (0:54). Changing the surface tension causes fluid at the interface to move. At 1:16 adding a lower surface tension fluid makes the water and black pepper pull away; the same physics drives the boat away at 2:09. For more on the Bubble Circus, see here.  (Video credit: A. Echasseriau et al.; via J. Ouellette)

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