Coating of tightly packed particles on bubble surface supports stresses to stabilize shape
Researchers at Harvard University have demonstrated that gas bubbles can exist in stable non-spherical shapes without the application of external force. The micron- to millimeter scale peapod-, doughnut- and sausage-shaped bubbles, created by coating ordinary gas bubbles with a tightly packed layer of tiny particles and then fusing them, are described this week on the web site of the journal Nature.
"Particles have been used to stabilize emulsions and foams for over 100 years," says lead author Anand Bala Subramaniam, a research associate in Harvard’s Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences who conducted much of the work before receiving his undergraduate degree from Harvard College last June. "However, we’ve demonstrated that not only are particles useful for making bubbles last longer, they fundamentally alter the properties of these bubbles. Instead of behaving like a fluid surface that flows to balance unequal stresses, the ’armor’ of particles on the surface of the bubbles actually supports the unequal stresses inherent in non-spherical shapes."
Steve Bradt | EurekAlert!
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