January 27, 2023

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Scientists finally found an explanation why air bubbles in water don’t always move in a straight line

already wondered Leonardo da Vinci Why don’t all air bubbles go directly to the surface. For many years, scientists have not found an adequate answer explaining this phenomenon. Recent research findings have shed new light on this issue.

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Professor Miguel Herrada from the University of Seville and therapist Jens Eggers from the University of Bristol tried to solve this mystery. They have noticed Until now, the motion of bubbles has never been explained, nor has it been described mathematically.

In their paper, they write, “Unstable bubble growth has defied quantitative description and the physical mechanism remains in dispute. Using a digital mapping technique, we have found for the first time quantitative agreement with precise measurements of instability.” […] The bubble deforms in response to the forces exerted by the liquidThe shape of the bubble, in turn, changes the nature of the flow. The researchers also state that, among other things, soaps or other cleaning agents can affect the behavior of bubbles.

When conducting their experiments, they find that the growing bubbles succumb periodic tiltwhich changes its shape. The upper side of the bubble has a greater curvature – this makes the surface smoother, and so the water moves across it faster. This also reduces pressure on that side as well, which pushes the bubble back to its original position before recycling.

The modeling performed predicts that this motion should cause a heel swing with a radius greater than 0.926 mm, which It will deviate from a straight line.

The next step will be to analyze how to do this pollution affect the results obtained. According to the researchers, this data can be used in the chemical industry. In the paper, the authors write: “In conclusion, we have found a mechanism for the periodic motion of the upward bubble that is qualitatively different from the behavior of solid particles. This opens the door to the study of small impurities present under most practical conditions, simulating a particle somewhere between a solid and a gas.” search in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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