Cool Bubble Science Facts and Experiments!
Bubbles provide the opportunity to study science concepts. Such as:
- Surface tension
We can study and learn about bubble science through observation, experimentation, investigation and most of all by having some fun!
What is a soap bubble?
So a bubble is just air wrapped in a soap film! I much prefer to describe them as mystical rainbow orbs but this is a science lesson. Bubbles are formed when air is captured or blown into a soap film.
Simply bubble juice is made of:
If we looked in a microscope we would see the surfaces of a bubble look very much like a water sandwich, where soap molecules act as the bread and the water is the filling. The inner and outer layer in soap molecules sealing in a layer of water.
Why is a bubble round?
Good question! Bubbles can stretch and be manipulated to be all kinds of shapes. When you first make a bubble it may form long, wobbly and crazy uneven shape, but once a bubble is sealed and settled the bubble will form a ball like sphere. It does this due to surface tension, the soap molecules will always shrink back to its minimum shape. You can add more air to stretch the bubble or disturb the air around the bubble to manipulate the shape but it will always go back to a perfectly round sphere.
Blow bubbles onto a wet table top (or some other kind of solid wet surface). You can blow the bubbles by using a simple straw. Blow a few bubbles and notice how they stick together!
Why do bubbles stick together?
Its all about minimizing their surface area, bubbles will join together to share one common wall.
TRY THIS – Blow 2 bubbles that stick together. Notice they have a common wall. Using a wet straw place your straw inside just touching the common wall and stuck (with a kissing/sucking action). If you did it correctly then the common wall would have popped and you would be left with 1 complete bubble.
Three bubbles stuck together will always meet at a perfect angle of 120 degrees.
But lets blow lots of bubbles all about the same size so that they all stick together!
When you make lots of bubbles all about the same size that stick together you make perfect hexagons, the same shape the bees make there beehive. How cool is that, bees are so very clever they too are very efficient with their spaces and only want to use the minimum amount of wax to create their beehive just like the bubbles want to use the minimum amount of space and soap to hold the bubbles.
Why do bubbles pop?
There are two reasons:
- Something sharp or dry touches the bubble and brakes the bubble wall
- The water between the 2 soap layers evaporates
So a bubble will last longer on a colder day and evaporate/pop quicker on a warmer day.
Hand/Finger Bubble – Experiment Time
Notice I said something sharp or dry will pop a bubble. What happens when we touch a bubble with something wet? Lets wet our fingers/hands with bubble juice and see.
Notice when you try and pop a bubble with a wet finger it will just wrap itself around your finger (or anything else that is wet). And when you pull your finger back out it re seals as if by magic.
Take your bubble mix outdoors, get your hand in blow bubbles and play see what adventures you can have.
Bubbles are fun, surprising and cool! So keep playing, experimenting and most of all enjoy learning!
I have included links to bubble science kits you can buy on Amazon so you can play more and keep learning about bubble science.