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The Science of Bubbles

More than just good for a bath, bubbles are a focus of new research.


Image credit: Sam Kaplan.

Bubbles are quite common seen in our daily life. Usually they are simply regarded to be beverage enhancers or kind of entertainment for the kids.

However, scientists see bubbles in a totally different way. In addition to the above-mentioned functions, bubbles could also be used for engaging computations, driving climate as well as applying as weapons.

As James Bird, a mechanical engineer and bubble expert at Boston University said, although he was able to be the teacher of bubbles course, the more he studied the bubbles, the more he was aware that he should go further to know about them. Here are a few examples where bubbles are unknown so far.


It is found from scientific research that as a mantis shrimp strikes, its claw could take water molecules away from one another so as to produce a low-pressure pocket where the water would vaporize. In this case, an unstable bubble should be formed from the vapor, and rapidly imploded, thus releasing enough force in the process so that unsuspecting prey would be pummeled


By using the technique known as super-cavitation, Russian engineers were able to propel the Shkval torpedo at the fast speed of 230 mph (200 knots). When the torpedo’s nose deflected water, it could produce a bubble of vapor which would help cut down the contact of torpedo with the surrounding liquid so as to decrease friction and increase speed.


In computer science, bubbles could act as bits. Actually the researchers had created logic gates with bubbles which moved through etched tubes, just as electrons did with circuits. Different from electrons, bubbles could also take chemical payloads; therefore, theoretically a bubble computer could be produced to ferry medications apart from computing


According to Helen Czerski of the UniversityCollege at London In real life, bubbles are quite helpful to breathe of thee ocean breathe. Upon popping, bubbles within breaking waves could give off aerosols of salt and sulphur, thus seeding clouds. In her study, Helen Czerski also demonstrated that bubbles were necessarily integral to gas exchange in a healthy way in oceans.

Source: Popular Science