What are antibubbles? | Summary and Q&A

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August 3, 2016
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What are antibubbles?

TL;DR

Antibubbles are spheres of liquid enclosed in a thin film of gas, the opposite of regular bubbles. They are made of soapy water and pop more easily than regular bubbles.

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Key Insights

  • πŸ’¦ Antibubbles are formed when water is squeezed onto a surface covered in soapy water.
  • πŸ‘οΈβ€πŸ—¨οΈ Electric repulsive forces help regular bubbles maintain their shape, but these forces are absent in antibubbles.
  • πŸ˜‹ Antibubbles can be observed by adding food coloring, which creates vortex ring shapes when they pop.
  • πŸ–€ Antibubbles pop more easily than regular bubbles due to the lack of electric repulsive forces.
  • πŸ«— They can be made to sink by increasing the density of the liquid or achieving neutral buoyancy with the surrounding liquid.
  • πŸ’„ Making antibubbles requires patience and experimentation with different parameters.
  • πŸ‘Ύ Antibubbles can potentially last longer in space due to the absence of buoyant forces caused by gravity.

Transcript

DIANNA COWERN: This episode is sponsored by audible. Welcome to the science. Have you seen this experiment before, with the milk and the food coloring? And then you put some dish soap on the end of a Q-tip, and you dip it in the middle of the liquid to get this awesome experiment. This is the kind of experiment that never gets old. But if you're li... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: What is an antibubble?

An antibubble is a sphere of liquid enclosed in a thin film of gas, the opposite of a regular bubble. It is made by squeezing water onto a surface covered in soapy water.

Q: Why do antibubbles pop more easily than regular bubbles?

Antibubbles pop more easily because the electric repulsive forces that help regular bubbles keep their shape do not exist in antibubbles. Additionally, soapy water, which forms antibubbles, is a good electrical conductor, neutralizing the charge of the antibubble surface.

Q: Can antibubbles be made in space?

If antibubbles were made in space, where there are no buoyant forces caused by gravity, they could last longer than on Earth.

Q: Are there any potential applications for antibubbles?

While there is still much research to be done, antibubbles have potential applications in various fields. Further research may uncover more about their properties and possible uses.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Antibubbles are created by squeezing water onto a surface covered in soapy water, forming a shell of air.

  • They can be easily observed by adding food coloring to the squeeze bottle, where they take the shape of a vortex ring when they pop.

  • Regular bubbles last longer due to electric repulsive forces, while antibubbles pop easily because they lack these forces.

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