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"For more than a decade, scientists ...
"For more than a decade, scientists have believed that when highly viscous bubbles popped, they would collapse under their own weight due to gravitational forces," explains James Bird, a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Mathematics at MIT.
Bird and colleagues will provide more details about their research at the American Physical Society's Division of Fluid Dynamics (DFD) annual meeting, Nov. 21-23, 2010, in Long Beach, Calif.
Recently James Bird, a ...
Recently James Bird, a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Math Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, uncovered another example taken from nature.
He studied bursting bubbles while working on his PhD at Harvard University.
He filmed the moment when the skin of a bubble's surface popped, and noticed a ring of small bubbles took the place where the bubble's edge had once existed.
Using a high-speed camera, Bird captured the proof.
MIT researcher James C. ...
MIT researcher James C. Bird, studied popping bubbles with a high-speed camera to investigate what happens to the hemispheric bubble after it bursts.
He discovered that when a bubble bursts, its surface film folds back onto itself and traps a doughnut-shaped pocket of air.
Lead author James C. Bird, a ...
Lead author James C. Bird, a graduate student at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), and his colleagues believe they have stumbled upon a universal behavior in how bubbles pop that holds as true for suds in a sink as it does for foam in the ocean.
"In order to minimize surface area, a bubble will be nearly hemispherical when it is in contact with a solid or liquid interface," explains Bird
In the second step, surface tension breaks this torus of air into a ring of smaller bubbles just like surface tension breaks a thin stream of water from a faucet into individual droplets," adds Bird
Bird and one his co-authors, Laurent Courbin, a former SEAS research associate, were inspired to study how bubbles pop during a late night lab session.
"After that point, any time I was just walking around during a rainy day I'd look at the bubbles popping on puddles," says Bird
is anxious to study similar popping effects in more exotic materials such as molten glass, lava, and mud.
While understanding how bubbles pop may not offer any near-term applications, the researchers expect that understanding how to create small bubbles from larger ones could one day help inform a variety of fields.
"We have provided a general explanation of why these rings of smaller bubbles can be observed," says co-author Howard A. Stone, Bird's adviser and now the Donald and Elizabeth Dixon Professor in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Princeton.
What I love about this study is that the overall effect can be seen by anyone in their kitchen," concludes Bird
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