100 Days Project

Nanogirl: Star Science

Nanogirl wants to find 100 friends to do science experiments with her to prove that no matter who you are or what your education level, you can always have fun with science.

Day 14:

Ida learns about the science behind blowing bubbles

Ida is not even 2 but is already learning about scientific concepts by blowing soapy bubbles.

Bubbles are made from three layers, a thin layer of water which is sandwiched between two layers of soap molecules.  Each of the soap molecules positions itself so that one end (the hydrophilic end which likes water) faces the water and the other end (the hydrophobic end which doens't like water) turns away from the water layer.

To minimise its surface area, the bubble will aways try to become a sphere, even if you have a square bubble blower, as soon as the bubble grows it will still grow in a sperical shape.   

When you blow air into a bubble to form it, the air trapped inside under compression (meaning the bubble is squashing it).  If you don't blow hard enough, some of the air escapes and the bubble shrinks until it collapses. If you blow to hard the film can become too thin to support the bubble structure and the bubble bursts.

You can make your own bubbles at home by mixing 1 cup water of with 1 tablespoon of dishwashing liquid.  If you make a lot of cakes at home you may have some glycerin in the cupboard, and a few drops will help the bubbles to grow bigger before they burst.