MadSci Network: Physics

Re: Can you freeze soap bubbles? If so, what is the best way to do this?

Area: Physics
Posted By: Georg Hager, Grad student Theorie III
Date: Tue Aug 26 04:46:28 1997
Area of science: Physics
ID: 870445217.Ph

Dear Tony!

Interesting topic. By what I've heard, it's not too tough. I know two ways to freeze soap bubbles:

  1. Go to Antarctica. Look for a place with -40C or below. Blowing soap bubbles there will be quite tricky, as most of them burst nearly instantly, but some will shrink, get somewhat crippled and fall frozen to the ground.
  2. Take an aquarium, or better an insulated styrofoam container of comparable size (some pizza home services use such boxes), and cover its bottom with dry ice. Wait until a CO2 layer has built up, generate some bubbles and let them sink into the container. You will notice that the bubbles float on the CO2 layer and eventually freeze. A number of experiments with soap bubbles along with a recipe for long-lasting ones (glycerine is the secret!) can be found here: The Chemistry of Bigger Bubbles
Hope that helps,

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