68th Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Fluid Dynamics (November 22, 2015 — November 24, 2015)

V0040: Placing Marangoni instabilities under arrest

  • M. Saad Bhamla, Stanford University
  • Gerald G. Fuller, Stanford University
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1103/APS.DFD.2015.GFM.V0040

Soap bubbles occupy the rare position of delighting and fascinating both young children and scientific minds alike. Sir Isaac Newton, Joseph Plateau, Carlo Marangoni and Pierre-Gilles de Gennes, not to mention countless others, have discovered remarkable results in optics, molecular forces and fluid dynamics from investigating this seemingly simple system.

This video is a compilation of curiosity-driven experiments that systematically investigate the surface flows on a rising soap bubble. From childhood experience, we are familiar with the vibrant colors and mesmerizing display of chaotic flows on the surface of a soap bubble. These flows arise due to surface tension gradients, also known as Marangoni flows or instabilities. In this video, we show the surprising effect of layering multiple instabilities on top of each other, highlighting that unexpected new phenomena are still waiting to be discovered, even in the simple soap bubble.

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