Bending in Bubbles

Bending Plateau's Laws poster.

Inside a cavity with a square cross-section, bubbles form an array. The shapes of their edges are determined by surface tension and capillarity (lower half of center image). Adding an elastic ribbon into the bubbles (upper half of center image) means that the bubbles’ shapes are determined by a competition between the elasticity of the ribbon and the capillarity of the fluid. Researchers found that they could tune the rigidity of the ribbon to dictate the shape of the bubble array, or, conversely, they could use the bubbles to set the shape of a UV-curable ribbon. (Image and research credit: M. Jouanlanne et al., see also)

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