Bubble Burst in the Kitchen

Corrie White
Igor Kliakhandler

kliakhandler and white burst image
An example of interesting physics that may be created on a kitchen table
using the simplest components, with unexpectedly beautiful results.

Let us mix regular bubble liquid (bought at any store), slight amount of glycerin, and green food color (from any store). Then we play a little with lighting, camera, angle of shooting, zoom, etc. as to prepare the best shooting environment. We blow a bubble on the surface of the mixed colored bubble liquid, and let liquid drops fall from above on the bubble. After all that, let us record a very large number of pictures, and repeat that experiments, while shooting, many, many times. (By the way, shooting cannot be done continuously, as it is necessary to wait, each time, for liquid to become still...)

We hope for lucky coincidence that, when something interesting will be happening at collision of bubble and drops, we will record that. And this picture is the result of such patience, luck and experimentation.

As could be seen from the image, the bubble is serene, but the burst front is unstable, and spreads many small drops around it - a known fact for anybody who ever burst a bubble... Many serious applications are related to the collapse of liquid sheets and jets, including fuel in combustion engines. 

Many more fascinating images may be found on Liquid Drop Art.

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