A group of physicists breaks a record by keeping an artificial bubble intact for more than a year

A group of physicists led by Aymeric Roux, from the University of Lille (France), has broken a record by keeping an artificial bubble intact for 465 days, as explained in an article published this Tuesday in the journal Physical Review Fluids.

The text indicates that, in general, three things contribute to a bubble's short lifespan in an atmospheric environment: gravity, which can drain material from the bubble membrane; evaporation, which can decrease the amount of liquid present; and the presence of tiny nuclei in the air, which can destabilize it.

To try to extend the lifespan of the bubbles, the scientists experimented with 'gas marbles' containing nylon particles—some water-based and some glycerol and water-based—to see if they could make them stay intact for a long time. time frame.

The former only survived between 6 and 60 minutes, while the latter lasted between 101 and 465 days thanks to the presence of glycerol, a material that absorbs moisture from the surrounding environment or from the atmosphere and replenishes it. Also, the nylon prevents the membrane from draining by gravity.

"We have shown that air bubbles that maintain their integrity for more than a year can be produced in a simple way by replacing the surfactants with partially wet particles and the water with a mixture of water and glycerol," says the study.

The team of physicists also built a detailed model of the material's properties and used it to create other structures, such as a pyramid stretched on a metal frame, by dipping it into the material and slowly pulling it out. One of them has already lasted more than 370 days.

These achievements could help the scientific community develop an entirely new class of objects from this mixture of materials, which would have physical and chemical properties that have yet to be investigated.

References: APS

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