2A15.20 - Soap Film - Minimal Surfaces

See paragraph one in the procedure section
Code Number:
Demo Title:
Soap Film - Minimal Surfaces
Surface Tension & Minimum Energy
Area of Study:
Heat & Fluids
Soap bubble solution, soap bubble frame shapes.

Dip the frames into the soap bubble solution and draw out slowly.  The minimum energy figures should be produced automatically when drawn from the soap bubble solution.  Several of these figures will have multiple minimum energy configurations.

Blowing soap bubbles in a confined container such as a Petri dish will give bubbles with straight edges.  Mostly the bubbles will be 5 and 6 sided bubbles.

  • Woo-Jin Oh, Hogul Park, Seoung-Hey Paik, "Development of Operational Observation Tools for Modeling Spatial Division Patterns", TPT, Vol. 60, #9, Dec. 2022, p. 785.
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  • Cyril Isenberg, "Problem Solving with Soap Films", TPT, Vol. 15, # 1, Jan. 1977, p. 9.
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  • Laxmipuram P. Srivatsa, "Bubble Model of Crystal Structure", AJP, Vol. 40, #2, Feb. 1972, p. 338.
  • Richard J. Fitzgerald, "Soap Halos", Physics Today, Vol. 72, #7, July 2019, p. 68.
  • Johanna Miller, "Separating Scales to Model Bursting Bubbles of Soap and Other Liquids", Physics Today, July 2013, p. 17.
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  • Douglas J. Durian, Srinvasa R. Raghavan, "Making a Frothy Shampoo or Beer", Physics Today, May 2010, p. 62.
  • Yves Pomeau and Emmanuel Villermaux, "Two Hundred Years of Capillarity Research", Physics Today, March 2006, p. 39.
  • F- 360:  "Soap Films on Wire Frames",  DICK and RAE Demo Notebook.
  • Flora Lichtman, "The Science of 
  • Bubbles", Popular Science, June 2014, p. 31.
  • Pat Murphy, Ellen Macaulay, and the staff of the Exploratorium, "Handful of Bubbles", Exploratopia, p. 110.
  • Jearl Walker, "2.76, Bubbles in Soda, Beer, and Champagne", The Flying Circus of Physics, p. 113.
  • "Soap Bubbles",  The Exploratorium Science Snackbook,  p. 88.1 - 88.2.
  • W. Bolton, "Bubble Rafts", Book I - Properties of Materials, Physics Experiments and Projects, 1968, p. 5-6.
  • The Queen Catalogues Vol. II, Catalogue of Physical Instruments, No. 4039, p. 3.

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