# Exploring the Physics of Bubble Interaction

• caters
In summary, when two bubbles come towards each other, there are four possible outcomes: one or both bubbles may pop, the bubbles may bounce off each other, the bubbles may come together and stay in place, or they may fuse into one bigger bubble and then pop. The amount of force from breath and wind can affect these outcomes, with the least force resulting in incomplete fusion and the most force causing popping. However, other factors such as gravity and velocity can also play a role in determining the outcome of two bubbles colliding.
caters
I have seen 4 things happen when 2 bubbles come towards each other.

1) I have seen 1 or both bubbles pop

2) I have seen the bubbles bounce off each other

3) I have seen the bubbles come together and stay there

4) I have seen complete fusion of the bubbles into 1 bigger bubble that then falls to the ground and pops

I know that this has to do with the amount of force from my breath and the wind outside.

The bubbles not completely fusing requires the least force and the popping requires the most force.

But how is it possible for the bubbles to do anything other than pop when they come towards each other? I mean even in not so windy conditions I more often see bubbles pop when they come towards each other(this is because of gravity pulling the liquid down as the bubble is going up causing the membrane to be thinner at the top and eventually go away).

Do things like bouncing off and complete and incomplete fusion happen because of 2 bubbles coming towards each other at the same velocity because I have seen a bigger bubble and a smaller bubble come towards each other and do these things and the smaller bubble under the same conditions as the bigger bubble would naturally have a greater velocity.

caters said:
this is because of gravity pulling the liquid down as the bubble is going up causing the membrane to be thinner at the top and eventually go away
This would appear to be the root of the differences you observe. At the same velocities, it just depends on the thickness of the film where they touch and the strength of the bubble overall (again, dependent on thickness).

## 1. What is the physics behind the formation of bubbles?

The formation of bubbles is due to a phenomenon called surface tension, which is the cohesive force between molecules on the surface of a liquid. When air or gas is trapped under a layer of liquid, the surface tension pulls the liquid molecules closer together, creating a spherical shape and forming a bubble.

## 2. Why do bubbles tend to group together and form clusters?

This is because of the Marangoni effect, which is the movement of liquid caused by differences in surface tension. When bubbles are in close proximity, the surface tension between them is not equal, leading to a flow of liquid from areas of low surface tension to areas of high surface tension. This creates a cluster of bubbles.

## 3. How do bubbles interact with each other?

Bubbles can interact in various ways, such as coalescence (merging together), bouncing off each other, or merging and then splitting into smaller bubbles. These interactions are influenced by factors such as surface tension, viscosity, and the relative size and velocity of the bubbles.

## 4. What is the role of gravity in bubble interactions?

Gravity plays a significant role in bubble interactions, as it affects the buoyancy and stability of bubbles. Bubbles will rise or fall based on their density compared to the surrounding liquid, and this movement can influence their interactions with other bubbles or objects in the liquid.

## 5. How does temperature affect bubble interactions?

Temperature can influence the surface tension and viscosity of a liquid, which in turn affects the behavior of bubbles. For example, warmer liquids tend to have lower surface tension, allowing bubbles to form more easily. Additionally, temperature changes can cause changes in the density of the liquid, which can impact how bubbles move and interact with each other.

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