There’s something magical about blowing a perfect bubble. Whether it’s with soap or gum, the creation of a perfectly round sphere is somehow very exciting. If you have trouble, a team of experts has now developed what they call a formula for blowing the perfect bubble.
Arstechnica reports that a group of mathematicians has created the best recipe yet for blowing a perfect bubble. The secret? Honestly, it’s very scientific. The results could impact a lot of improvements in the manufacturing of commercial sprays or foams. In layman’s terms, these experts and their perfect bubble recipe might improve your Reddi-Whip experience.
Bubbles have been studied by scientists for decades, starting in the 1800s at least. Then, a Belgian physicist named Joseph Plateau discovered the four basic laws of surface tension that define the soap bubbles we are familiar with today.
Bubbles are round because of surface tension, as it’s the easiest shape to maintain because it requires the least volume. American botanist Edwin Matzke also plunged his hands into the study of bubbles. He would create his own foams by hand in the 1940s, one bubble at a time, so he could study their structure.
More recently in Ireland in 1994, Irish mathematicians used computers to figure out the best shape for bubbles used in geometric packing. They created various computer models to investigate. In 2006, researchers at Harvard University learned that they could create a sort of armor for bubbles by adding colloidal particles to their mixture. This experiment yielded malleable, stronger bubbles that could be shaped and molded.
The bubble studies don’t end there. In 2016, a team of French physicists modeled how bubbles form when air hits a soapy film. They rigged up their model using Dawn dish soap, tap water, and a weighted fishing line. They created a thin film, then shot jets of gas to see which speed of air created bubbles.
The latest innovation comes from New York University’s Applied Math Lab, where a team has published their findings in the Physical Review Letters.
“We can now say exactly what wind speed is needed to push out the film and cause it to form a bubble, and how this speed depends on parameters like the size of the wand,” said Leif Ristroph, lead researcher in the NYU study
The perfect bubble, per the paper, can be created with a circular wand with a 1.5 inch perimeter. Blow gently at a consistent rate of 6.9 centimeters per second. Now you know!