Thursday, June 11, 2009

Bubbles+Rings= Toroidal Funtime!

It's summer time. That means it's time to run around on the grass or in the swimming pool -because everyone knows that there is nothing better on a summer day than running around with your friends on the grass in your bare feet screaming "Kinetic Theory of Inert Dilute Plasmas! Ra! Ra! Ra!" (or whatever thems kids are sayn' now a days)

Pssst, why does it say bubbles up there?

That's because while you run around screaming nonsense, you could also have some fun with physics. The physics of bubbles! It's a battle between surface tension and pressure. But all in all bubbles operate on a fundamental principle: laziness. Bubbles form which ever shape minimizes their surface area. This is usually a sphere until something forces them to have a little fun. However, Plateau, Lagrange et al. demonstrated where the real bubble fun is happening (psst, click on happening to see where the real fun is).

Weather you are out in the yard, in the pool or in a low Earth orbit, there are some great ways you can play with bubbles. For a lesson in bubble fun, watch these instructional videos that we found on the internets:

And finally, try cooling off with some cold dry icy bubbles:

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