Who doesn’t like bubbles? They’re fun to blow, fun to float and really fun to POP! Plus, there’s actually a lot of cool science behind these soapy suds.
Bubbles Are Super Heroes
Bubbles have a duel personality just like some super heroes. You see, one end of a soap molecule is hydrophilic, (hy-druh-fil-ik), meaning it likes water. The other end is hydrophobic (hy-dro-pho-bik) which doesn’t like water. So when you pour liquid soap into water the end that likes the water immediately attaches itself to the water. The other end that doesn’t like water needs to get away, so it looks for some grime to attach itself to. With a little scrub from you the bubbles can get in between the dirt particles, surround it and BLAM! The bubbles have saved the day leaving you with sparkling clean dishes, toes, fingers, hair and more.
Bubbles Trouble? Always Round
Have you ever blown bubbles through a square or triangular wand? What shape did you get? That’s right, round. This is because soap molecules cling to each other in every direction. These molecules also become very elastic, so when you add air to them they stretch like a balloon and try to hold onto the air. The sphere has the smallest surface area of all the shapes, so it’s the easiest to form and trap the air.
Even though bubbles look clear they can actually have a rainbow of colors. Light acts like a wave. When light waves hit the ever changing surface of a bubble some waves are reflected, and we see them as colors. Sunlight is best to see colors since sunlight is white light, and white light makes all colors possible. Watch for your bubble’s rainbow the next time you are outside making bubbles.
Top Five Bubble Dislikes
Like us, bubbles have things they dislike. Here are the top five:
5) Dryness. For example, dry bubble making instruments like wands or straws, dry fabrics like polyester shirts, even your dry hair.
4) Anything dirty is also a no no to bubbles. Dust, salt or other air pollutants can quickly POP a bubble.
3) Bubbles despise the heat since they depend on moisture to keep their form.
2) Gravity also takes it’s toll on bubbles as the liquid at the top of the bubble is slowly pulled down, weakening it.
1) And the number one dislike of bubbles? Poking. It breaks them, of course.
So now that you know all the fun science that makes up a bubble, perhaps you’ll want to become a Bubble-izard, waving a new fangled bubble wand? Or maybe a Bubble-ientist…or would that be Bubble-ologist?
More Bubble Facts
~ The biggest free floating soap bubble recorded is in the Guinness World Book of Records. The bubble is 2.98 meters cubed. If this bubble was filled with water it would hold 788 gallons and weigh 3.2 tonnes.
~ A bubble entertainer by the name of Eiffel Plasterer, made a hobby of sealing bubbles in jars. One of his bubbles lasted almost a year before it popped.