Phenomena

When Bubbles Don’t Die

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In a pure liquid, most bubbles pop almost immediately. But with a simple ingredient — a little heat — bubbles can live almost indefinitely. The mechanism is revealed in this video when the researchers use an infrared camera to watch a bubble on a heated pool. The top of the bubble is cooler than the rest of the liquid, forming colder, denser droplets that slide down. But the cooler liquid also has a higher surface tension, which draws warm liquid up the bubble, replenishing it. The result is a stable bubble that simply carries on. (Image and video credit: S. Nath et al.)

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