Oil-Coated Bubbles

A series of snapshots showing the formation of an air bubble coated in oil.

Bubbles in industrial applications are often more complicated than a simple pocket of air surrounded by water. Here researchers investigate the formation of an air bubble coated in oil before it rises through water. The photo above shows a series of snapshots as the bubble forms. Initially, a droplet of oil sits pinned on the surface. As air gets injected, the oil stretches around the growing bubble. Eventually, buoyancy pulls the bubble off the injector, creating a rising air bubble coated in oil. The team found that oil-coated bubbles could grow much larger than those in water alone. (Image and research credit: B. Ji et al.)

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