MadSci Network: Chemistry

Re: Why do soap bubbles look colored?

Date: Sat May 2 05:05:05 1998
Posted By: Sean Hunt, Secondary School Teacher, Science, Sultan's School
Area of science: Chemistry
ID: 893966750.Ch

Soap bubbles are made up of very thin alternate
layers of soap and water sandwiched together. 
These layers can slide past each other forming 
thicker or thinner layers in the process.
The colours are caused by interference between 
the layers and the actual colour will depend on 
the temporary thickness and number of layers as 
the layers slide around on the surface.
A soap/water/soap sandwich is made up of the 
soap heads and tails lining up above and below
the water trapping it into a layer.

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