Bubbles! One of life’s purest and simplest joys. Physicians have come up with the ultimate, most perfect bubble recipe, specifically for the creation of gigantic bubbles.
This mixture has helped produce bubbles that are pretty big, like record breaking big. The method and ingredients are surprisingly very precise.
Physicians have determined the most perfect bubble recipe for enormous, record breaking bubbles. The precise mixture involves incorporating “polymers of varying strand lengths.”
As simple as bubbles seem, there’s actually some intense science behind their creation. Physicist, Joseph Plateau, explained four laws regarding surface tension in the 17th century. Surface tension explains the reasoning behind the round shape of our beloved bubbles, as the round shape contains the least surface area, preventing premature popping. Although, the shape changes as the liquid is eventually coarsened (brought to the bottom).
Physicists continued the study of bubbles. An experiment conducted by French physicists in 2016 determined an academic model for how bubbles form when met with jets of air. Jennifer Ouelette from Ars Technica says,
“If the jet is wide, there will be a lower threshold for forming bubbles, and those bubbles will be larger than ones produced by narrower jets, which have higher speed thresholds. That’s what’s happening, physics-wise, when we blow bubbles through a little plastic wand: the jet forms at our lips and is wider than the soapy film suspended within the wand.”
Writer and physicist, Justin Burton, was fascinated with the way street performers would blow bubbles. The bubbles became so big that they were the same size of entire cars. His experiments lead to the discovery of polymers (in this case, a food thickeners) in bubble recipes.
Liz Conners from Physics Buzz said,
“For their experiment, the researchers created various mixes of water, soap, and long-chain polymers to make their bubbles. Unfortunately, blowing a 100 m3 bubble is a poor use of lab space, and quite difficult to measure accurately, so the soap films were created using a cotton string, and the thickness was measured using infrared light. In addition to measuring the thickness, they also tracked the lifetime of each film.”
These experiments ultimately gave us the perfect bubble recipe.
Check it out:
1 liter of water (about 2 pints)
50 milliliters of Dawn Professional Detergent (a little over 3 TBSP)
2-3 grams of guar powder, a food thickener (about 1/2 heaping TSP)
50 milliliters of rubbing alcohol (a little more than 3 TBSP)
2 grams of baking powder (about 1/2 TSP)
Mix the guar powder with the alcohol and stir until there are no clumps.
Combine the alcohol/guar slurry with the water and mix gently for 10 minutes. Let it sit for a bit so the guar hydrates. Then mix again. The water should thicken slightly, like thin soup or unset gelatin.
Add the baking powder and stir.
Add the Dawn Professional Detergent and stir gently, to avoid causing the mixture to foam.
Dip a giant bubble wand with a fibrous string into the mixture until it is fully immersed and slowly pull the string out. Wave the wand slowly or blow on it to create giant soap bubbles.
Do with it what you will.