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Bubble in water

  1. May 27, 2016 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    ?temp_hash=f3e662c0a010de78d71f97451a31b6e3.png

    2. Relevant equations


    3. The attempt at a solution

    Pressure inside bubble = 2T/R
    Buoyant force on bubble = ##\frac{4}{3} \pi R^3 ρ_w g ##

    But I do not understand how surface tension is exerting force on the bubble .Also I do not understand the direction of surface tension force .

    Please help me with the problem .

    Thanks
     

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    Last edited: May 28, 2016
  2. jcsd
  3. May 28, 2016 #2

    haruspex

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    At the contact with the base, surface tension acts tangentially to the bubble surface and perpendicularly to the line of contact (i.e. to the tangent to the circle of contact). Consider vertical force components.
     
  4. May 28, 2016 #3
    Sorry . I did not understand .
     
  5. May 28, 2016 #4

    haruspex

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    The surface tension should result in a force on the base of the bubble, pulling it down onto the base of the vessel. On any short section of the circle of contact, the tension should act tangentially to the bubble, not straight down. We want the integral of the force around the circle. By symmetry, only the vertical component of the force on any short section will be left uncancelled, so we can take that vertical component and simply multiply it by the circumference of the circle.

    However, I am not able to arrive at any of the offered answers. I have started a thread in the Advisors' forum to see if anyone else has ideas.
     
  6. May 28, 2016 #5

    haruspex

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    Here's what I posted on the Advisors' forum:
    -----
    The buoyant force of the water on the bubble will not be ##\frac 43\pi R^3\rho g## because there is no water under the (almost) sphere. It will fall short by ##P_w\pi r^2##, where ##P_w## is the pressure in the water at the base of the vessel.
    Correspondingly, the gas pressure should exert a net upward force on the bubble of ##P_g\pi r^2##, where ##P_g## is the pressure of the gas.
    The two pressures should be related by ##P_g=P_w+\frac {2T}R##, but that's taking the pressure in the water to be uniform around the bubble, which cannot be true for Archimedes principle to work. So I correct this to take the water pressure around the bubble as averaging ##P_w-R\rho g##. I.e. ##P_g=P_w-R\rho g+\frac {2T}R##
    Finally, I take the surface tension along the contact with the base of the vessel as the force holding the bubble down. Allowing for the presumed angle of contact (taking the bubble to be a sphere with a cap removed), the net force from this is ##2\pi rT\frac rR##.
    Pulling all this together, I find T disappears leaving ##r=R\sqrt{\frac 23}##.

    Throwing all that away and crudely writing ##\frac 43\pi R^3\rho g=2\pi rT\frac rR## I do not get any of the offered answers. I would get one of them if I used ##4\pi rT\frac rR##, as would be appropriate for a bubble out of water (so double shelled).
    ------
    I got a response from TSny, a contributor for whom I have the utmost respect. He agrees with my analysis.
     
  7. May 28, 2016 #6
    I agree with your analysis also.
     
  8. May 28, 2016 #7
    Please see the attached image . Do you agree that green vector correctly shows the direction of surface tension acting on the bubble along the circumference of circular part of the bubble in contact with the vessel ?

    The surface tension force is due to the flat circular part of the bubble on the large spherical part . Isn't this an internal force as far as complete sphere is concerned ? How can we consider this force while doing the force balance on the sphere ? In other words , how can an internal force pull down the bubble ?
     

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    Last edited: May 28, 2016
  9. May 29, 2016 #8

    haruspex

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    Yes, you have the vector correctly.
    There is no flat circular part to the bubble wall. On that area, the gas is in direct contact with the dry base of the vessel.
    I agree you have to be consistent as to what is considered the "free body". You can take it to be the wall of the bubble (i.e. the layer of liquid in contact with gas) or that plus the gas. You should get the same result either way. I chose wall+gas.
    The surface tension does two things. Over the general spherical curve of the bubble wall, it is an internal force of the wall+gas but leads to the pressure difference between gas and surrounding liquid. This pressure difference does act on the wall+gas over the circular dry area.
    It also pulls directly on the vessel base around the perimeter of the circle.
     
  10. May 29, 2016 #9

    haruspex

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    Thanks Chet.
    I just noticed something, though. The question specifies the point at which the bubble is about to rise. Nothing in my analysis requires that, it is just a general relationship that must obtain for the bubble to be stable. I would think that the borderline instability condition should lead to an expression that fixes R, not just relates it to r.
     
  11. May 29, 2016 #10
    Ok . I was getting it wrong .

    I think it should be only "gas" , wall of the bubble doesn't look meaningful . Forgive me if I do not make sense .

    I still do not understand properly how this surface tension force is acting as an " external force on wall + gas " ?? It makes some sense if I consider only the gas as a system :rolleyes: .
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2016
  12. May 29, 2016 #11
    I am so sorry but this surface tension has baffled me :nb) . I am also feeling quite confused why this force should be pulling the bubble down instead of pulling it up ( i.e at 180 ° opposite to the green vector shown in image in post #7) ??

    Why should it be pulling up the vessel ?
     
  13. May 29, 2016 #12

    haruspex

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    You do need to think of the bubble wall as a thin skin under tension.
    Let's start with something simpler: a light rope over a pulley with a weight W on each end. The external forces on the rope are the weights and the normal force from the pulley. The tension in the rope is an internal force, but it leads to the force the rope exerts on the pulley and to the force it exerts on the weights. These are analogous to the tension in the bubble wall leading to the force it exerts on the gas inside the bubble, and to the force exerted on the vessel base around the circle perimeter, respectively.
    Surface tension is much like a two dimensional version of tension in an elastic string, except that it is constant instead of being proportional to extension, so the potential energy is proportional to the area instead of to the square of the area.
     
  14. May 29, 2016 #13
    Am I the only one that finds it extremely counterintuitive that the surface tension doesn't play a role in the final result ? (according to harupex's analysis).

    Judging by the level of learning this exercise requires I think what the book expects one to do is what harupex says in the last two lines of post #5 ("Throwing all that away and crudely writing..."). It isn't 100% correct as probably harupex's detailed analysis is, but many books expect you to do some simplifying assumptions in order to deal with the problem more easily.
     
  15. May 29, 2016 #14

    Nidum

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    +1
     
  16. May 29, 2016 #15
    Yes . This is what is to be done . Strangely , in this problem , none of the options are correct .
     
  17. May 29, 2016 #16
    Maybe it is just a typo , it is just a 2 missing from the numerator on choice 3).
     
  18. May 29, 2016 #17
    May be :smile: .
     
  19. May 29, 2016 #18
    Chet ,

    Acknowledging Haruspex's nice analysis and efforts to make me understand things , I am still unsure about a couple of things . The problem is solved but could you help me understand these two conceptual issues I am having .

    1) How is force due to surface tension acting as an external force on the bubble as far as force balance is concerned (post#7) ?

    2) How is force due to surface tension pulling down the bubble (post#11) ?

    Thanks
     
  20. May 29, 2016 #19
    I think it must be the combination of the two. Anyway, in my judgment, this is not a very well-defined problem. If the water pressure is changing with depth and the pressure within the bubble is virtually constant, the bubble shape can't be perfectly spherical. I also don't think that the shape at the base is going to be close to spherical, with a slope the same as if you just cut off a sphere at that cross section.
     
  21. May 29, 2016 #20
    Surface tension acts as if there is an ideal thin stretched membrane between the two materials at the interface. That model should help to answer both these questions.
     
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