Blowing big bubbles

Christopher A.E. Hamlett, Dolachai N. Boniface, Anniina Salonen, Emmanuelle Rio, Connor Perkins, Alastair Clark, Sang Nyugen, David J. Fairhurst*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Although street artists have the know-how to blow bubbles over one meter in length, the bubble width is typically determined by the size of the hoop, or wand they use. In this article we explore a regime in which, by blowing gently downwards, we generate bubbles with radii up to ten times larger than the wand. We observe the big bubbles at lowest air speeds, analogous to the dripping mode observed in droplet formation. We also explore the impact of the surfactant chosen to stabilize the bubbles. We are able to create bubbles of comparable size using either Fairy liquid, a commercially available detergent often used by street artists, or sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) solutions. The bubbles obtained from Fairy liquid detach from the wand and are stable for several seconds, however those from SDS tend to burst just before detachment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2404-2409
Number of pages6
JournalSoft Matter
Issue number9
Early online date18 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - 7 Mar 2021


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