Geometric bubble films... make a cube-shaped bubble! | Fizzics Education

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Bubble Geometry

Bubble Geometry

Follow FizzicsEd 150 Science Experiments:

You will need:

  • Four Pipe cleaners
  • Strong Bubble mix
  • Deep bucket
  • Somewhere you can get wet!

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Geometric bubble films science experiment - materials needed
1

Carefully pour the bubble mix down the sides of the bucket to avoid making small bubbles.

2 Green square used for geometric bubble science experiment

Connect pipe cleaners together to form a cube … i.e. 6 sides.

First fold one of the pipe cleaners into a square.

3 Geometric bubble films science experiment - two square made and extra pipecleaners

Now fold another of the pipe cleaners into another square and chop one of the other pipe cleaners into 3 parts. Leave one pipe cleaner untouched at this point.

4 Close up of the geometric bubble science experiment

Wind each of the short pipe cleaner pieces onto the corners of the 2 squares made.

5 Pipe cleaner cube nearly finished

Begin to connect the squares together to form the cube.

6 Geometric bubble films science experiment - completed cube shape bubble maker

Finish off the cube with the final pipe cleaner and leave a small amount hanging off the cube to act as a handle. You can straighten up the frame later.

7 Geometric bubble films science experiment - cube shape bubble in sunlight

Dip the cube into the bubble mix and carefully withdraw it a couple of times. Can you make a cube-shaped bubble form on the inside of the pipe cleaner frame?

8 Different frames for making different shaped bubbles

Try making tetrahedron (4 sides), a octahedron (8 sides), and a dodecahedron (12 sides)!

Does the bubble shape match the shape of each frame… why?

9 Balls and water flying out of a metal bin

Why Does This Happen?

Bubble films are stretchy… scientists call this ‘stretch’ surface tension. As bubbles are stretchy, they always try to shrink into a sphere shape, minimising surface area.

Dipping the frame into the bubble mix traps air inside the frame. The bubble inside the frame tries to form a sphere but the bubble films connecting to the frames pull on the bubble on the inside. This creates a bubble with the same shape as the frame.

Recording from a Facebook Live presentation on Bubble Geometry

Want to join the fun? Join our Facebook site and keep an eye out for the next live science event where you can work with our science presenters who run the experiments with you!

Learn more!

From volume and length through to statistics and trigonometry, the Working Mathematically workshop has your mathematics enrichment covered!

Get in touch with FizzicsEd to find out how we can work with your class.

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