Phenomena

Slipping Through a Soap Film

A droplet falling at high speed can pass through a soap film without breaking it. On impact, the drop stretches the soap film and ultimately only passes through by getting coated with a thin shell of soap film fluid. That liquid shell is separated from the original droplet by an extremely thin air layer. This air layer isn’t typically visible, but we know that it’s there from what happens when that soap-film-shelled droplet later impacts a liquid pool. As seen above, the droplet sits on the surface until the soap film shell coalesces with the pool. This sucks the drop under, but the drop itself does not coalesce. Instead it becomes an antibubble – a submerged liquid drop surrounded by a shell of air. (Image credit: J. Zou et al., source)

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