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Author Topic: Can You Freeze Bubbles ?  (Read 13037 times)

Offline neilep

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Can You Freeze Bubbles ?
« on: 27/03/2006 22:47:48 »
Dearest Wonderfun scientists.

Is it possible to freeze bubbles ? I tried placing a few in the freezer and it didn't work !....I tried having a bubble bath in the frozen food section of Sainsburys and was summarily asked to leave.

I'm curious...can it be done ?

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Offline Soul Surfer

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Re: Can You Freeze Bubbles ?
« Reply #1 on: 27/03/2006 23:16:17 »
You can freeze chocolate bubbles in aero  :-)

A bubble is essentially a surface tension and liquid state thing and so is unlikely to survive crystallisation which is what happens when most liquids freeze but if the substance undergoes a glassy transition and essentially becomes a very viscous liquid as it solidifies then bubbles should freeze.  Alternatively you may have to do the freezing very quickly

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« Last Edit: 28/03/2006 08:44:17 by Soul Surfer »
 

Offline daveshorts

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Re: Can You Freeze Bubbles ?
« Reply #2 on: 27/03/2006 23:30:07 »
I know that if you chuck liquid nitrogen into soapy water you get loads of foam and if you chuck in enough liquid nitrogen you get a frozen foam at the bottom of the container.

Here is a photo of me doing so...


If you want to freeze a single bubble it would be more difficult as a bubble has a limited lifetime before it pops so you are going to have to cool it really quickly, but you don't want it to touch anything... possibly a good way would be to float it down onto some CO2 boiling of dry ice... possibly in a freezer. The other thing you would have to be careful of is the gas inside changing volume once you had frozen the bubble as this would break it.
 

Offline wim

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Re: Can You Freeze Bubbles ?
« Reply #3 on: 28/03/2006 12:35:09 »
Wait for an exceptionally cold day: -12 degrees Celsius or below. Create bubbles with an ordinary bubble solution and a wand. Try drawing the wand through the air. Then try blowing on it.

At first, all you've got are normal bubbles and some of them break right away. But some bubbles will live long enough to freeze! Their perfect surfaces develop wrinkles and then they break. But the fragments of frozen bubbles don't disappear. Pieces of frozen soap film, which looks like broken eggshells, fall to the ground.



There is a layer of water molecules between two layers of soap molecules. Temperatures of -12C are below the freezing point of water (0 C), which is cold enough to ensure that the thin layer of water in the bubble will freeze quickly before the bubble has the chance to burst.

The bubbles formed by drawing a wand through the air freeze almost instantly. The bubbles blown by mouth contain warm air. When they hit the cold outside air, the air inside the bubble contracts as it cools, causing the skin to crinkle like plastic wrap. The soap film adds strength to the frozen wall of the bubble. When an unfrozen bubble bursts, the liquid soap film forms tiny drops as soon as the air escapes. The soap film in a frozen bubble is solid and it stays that way even if it's broken into pieces.

Does that answer the question?

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« Last Edit: 28/03/2006 12:36:49 by wim »
 

Offline neilep

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Re: Can You Freeze Bubbles ?
« Reply #4 on: 28/03/2006 14:15:41 »
Thank you Ian, Thank you Dave (nice piccy) and Thank you Wim.

 We rarely have days where it drops to -12 however, I am sure the team at TNS will be pleased and delighted to sponsor a trip (First Class) to the Antarctic so that we can indeed freeze bubbles. Thank you.
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Re: Can You Freeze Bubbles ?
« Reply #5 on: 28/03/2006 19:32:50 »
quote:
Originally posted by neilep

Thank you Ian, Thank you Dave (nice piccy) and Thank you Wim.

 We rarely have days where it drops to -12 however, I am sure the team at TNS will be pleased and delighted to sponsor a trip (First Class) to the Antarctic so that we can indeed freeze bubbles. Thank you.



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Re: Can You Freeze Bubbles ?
« Reply #6 on: 30/03/2006 16:27:51 »
The life-span of bubbles can be extended by adding glycerin to the detergent:-

" Sample formulae
General purpose formula:
2/3 cup dishwashing detergent
1 gallon water
2 to 3 tablespoons of glycerin

Another general purpose formula:
100 g sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons salt
1.4 L water (distilled water is better)
150 ml dish washing detergent
12 ml glycerin

Yet another general purpose formula:
1 part of washing-up detergent
2 parts of glycerin
3 parts of water ".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soap_bubble
 

Offline neilep

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Re: Can You Freeze Bubbles ?
« Reply #7 on: 30/03/2006 16:34:06 »
Thanks Robert.

I'll give those a go, my kids love bubbles (so do I)and those formulas are even within my capabilities ! :)

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Re: Can You Freeze Bubbles ?
« Reply #7 on: 30/03/2006 16:34:06 »

 

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