Science Questions

Why is it that bubbles are always round?

Sun, 12th Nov 2006

Part of the show Science of Sound, Music and Voices

Question

Ken in Lowestoft asked:

Why is it that bubbles are always round?

Answer

You may have heard of surface tension this is due to water molecules pulling together and trying to minimise the number of them on the surface and not surrounded by other water molecules, it can hold up pond skaters and float pins etc. Now the water in the soap film is trying to minimise it's area too, and as there is a fixed amount of air trapped within the bubble and the shape with the least surface area for its volume is a sphere, bubbles are spherical.

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