Facts about Bubbles

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1. Bubbles can’t form in space
Bubbles are unable to form in space due to absence of external air pressure that should counteract pressure from within. The pressure in the inner part of a bubble will always be more than the air pressure from outside. Therefore, there must be equilibrium between the pressure inside the bubble, the pressure from the detergent film and the pressure from outside to form a bubble.

2. The largest bubble in the World measured 23 cubic meters
The largest outdoor free floating bubble recorded in the Guinness book of records measured 23.3 cubic meters and was achieved by Sam Heath. The bubble was created using 4-metre long fishing whip poles and 11 meters of cotton strings formed in a loop.

3. Bubbles produce color due to light reflection
The colors that are seen on bubbles are as a result of reflection of light on the walls of bubbles. Occasionally, the surface of a bubble is very thin on some parts and thicker on other parts. When this happens, lots of different colors are seen at once that make the bubble look like a rainbow.

4. Bubbles can freeze
Like all water, a bubble can technically freeze below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. However, bubbles tend to burst after a few seconds. To successfully freeze bubbles, temperatures need to be similar to those that freeze water molecules.

5. Bubbles have a round shape due to surface tension
Bubbles tend to have a round shape because of the tension on the surface. This phenomenon makes the liquid shell of a bubble to pull inwards as water molecules try to reduce the surface area of the bubble. The sphere is the shape with the smallest surface area but highest volume. One can blow bubbles into a square shape by blowing two bubbles of equal volume which will join. Their connecting walls become flat due to equal pressure from both sides. Other shapes can be blown using the same procedure.

6. Bubbles can serve as weapons
Shrimps use bubbles to capture and kill their prey. With a fast snap of its claw, a pistol shrimp stuns prey with a bubble bullet whose speed is comparable to car speed. When the bubble released by a snapping shrimp collapses, the force is enough to kill a nearby shrimp and fish. The bubble’s collapse creates a flash of light and reaches a temperature of 5000 degrees which means it is really hot.

7. Bubbles are used in chemical tests
Bubbles can be used to test for different substances such as negative ions. For instance, carbon dioxide gas produces bubbles when an acid is added, which indicates that carbonate ions are present. A scientist known as Richard Simpson also used bubbles in tests relating to developing better computer models for jet fuel fires.

8. Bubbles are a learning platform
With the many why questions about formation and existence of bubbles, bubbles provide many opportunities for studying science concepts. Such concepts include elasticity, surface tension, chemistry, light as well as geometry in an attempt to gain answers.

9. Bubbles are therapy tools
A grown-up bubble blowing event can be great fun activity that provides health benefits. The deep breathing involved in blowing bubbles is great for relaxation and stress relief. The type of breathing used to blow bubbles exhausts the air in the lungs leaving more room for fresh air. This results in better air circulation within the respiratory system. Blowing bubbles may also bring back stress-relieving thoughts of childhood as well.

10. Bubble blowing started in ancient times
Bubble blowing is a practice that dates back to ancient times. It is among the oldest and most popular childhood games. Unverified sources show that the earliest depiction of blowing bubbles was on an Etruscan vase in the Louvre in Paris. The earliest patents for bubble blowers recognized date back to the 1920’s.

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