NOV 05, 2020 6:00 AM PST

No, Gravity Doesn't Affect How Bubbles Collapse

WRITTEN BY: Daniel Duan

The ubiquitous presence of bubbles makes them a common phenomenon, but interestingly our understanding of this globular existence is still quite limited.

A team of scientists from Boston University, Princeton University, and MIT challenged a well-accepted hypothesis - Gravity is the driving force in bubbles collapsing and made a surprising discovery.  

They generated bubbles that point upside down and then captured the moments of their destructions using a slow motion-imaging technique. Instead of imploding toward the ground, the flipped bubbles collapsed inward toward its attaching surface, the same way as their upright counterparts. 

By closely watching the moments of bursting and experimenting with different bubble-forming parameters, they found out that surface tension is the main driving force behind the disappearing bubbles. Also, they determined that the collapsing speed is approximately equivalent to the capillary force divided by the viscous force on the bubble surface.

The researchers hoped that the new knowledge they acquired could help improve our manipulation of bubbles, either increasing or decreasing their presence for different scenarios.

This discovery is published in the journal Science as a cover page article.

Source: C&EN via Youtube

About the Author
  • Graduated with a bachelor degree in Pharmaceutical Science and a master degree in neuropharmacology, Daniel is a radiopharmaceutical and radiobiology expert based in Ottawa, Canada. With years of experience in biomedical R&D, Daniel is very into writing. He is constantly fascinated by what's happening in the world of science. He hopes to capture the public's interest and promote scientific literacy with his trending news articles. The recurring topics in his Chemistry & Physics trending news section include alternative energy, material science, theoretical physics, medical imaging, and green chemistry.
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