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Soap films

  1. Aug 20, 2008 #1
    I'm looking for some stuff concerning the physics and mathematics of soap films and soap bubbles - I mean things like the surface tension mechanism, Young-Laplace equation etc. and the mathematical side of the subject, i.e. minimal surfaces, mean curvature etc.

    I know that there are two nice books on this topic, J. Oprea "The Mathematics of Soap Films" and C. Isenberg "The Science of Soap Films and Soap Bubbles", but unfortunately I've been unable to get them, so I'd be glad if anyone could recommend something easily available on the web.

    I'm familiar with things like Euler-Lagrange equations, principles of differential geometry etc., so the materials needn't be on a very basic level.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 21, 2008 #2

    Andy Resnick

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    You are asking a very generic question, and there's lots of material on the web. For example, are you looking for:

    Pretty pictures
    Differential geometry
    Interfacial phenomena
  4. Aug 21, 2008 #3
    I'm looking for a reasonably detailed explanation of how interfacial phenomena, surface tension etc. are connected to the mathematical side of soap films' properties, Young-Laplace equation, mean curvature and basically differential geometry stuff.
  5. Aug 21, 2008 #4

    Andy Resnick

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    I'd be surprised if you found that on-line, for free.

    The main connection comes from the Young-Laplace equation [itex]\Delta P = -2 \sigma\kappa [/itex]. The physics goes into the pressure jump.

    There's a free geometry program (Surface Evolver) out of the University of Minnesota that plots minimum energy shapes of fluids, given certain boundary conditions (anchoring regions, gravity, etc)


    We used it for liquid bridge simulations.
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