Bubble Science

For these experiments you will need the kit listed on the contents page in your box. You will also need the following –

  • Washing up liquid
  • Bowl
  • Pencil
  • A glove

Touching Bubbles

Do you ever wish that you could touch or hold your bubbles without them popping? Or why you can hold the bubbles in the bath but not bubbles you blow with a bubble blower? It’s all to do with the oil on your hands. We have natural oil on our hands. When we touch the bubbles with dry hands the oil breaks the surface tension of the water so they pop! Here is what you can do to hold your bubbles –

  • Make some bubble mixture by mixing washing up liquid with water in your bowl. Roughly one part washing up liquid to two parts water, but you can always add more washing up liquid later if you need to!
  • Put your hands in the bubble mixture so that they get wet.
  • Dip the wide end of your bubble blower in the bubble mixture.
  • Gently blow through the other end of the tube so that a bubble starts to form. If you are having trouble blowing a bubble, add some more washing up liquid to the water.
  • You can either poke the bubble or shake the bubble blow gently to release it then catch it in your hand, it shouldn’t pop!

Bouncing bubble

We are going to use the technique used in the last experiment to make a bouncing bubble! You can either do this experiment on your own or with a friend.

  • Put on your glove. If you are doing this with a partner they should put on a glove too.
  • Blow a bubble using your bubble blower, shake the blower to release it, then catch it on the palm of your hand.
  • Jerk your hand up to ‘throw’ the bubble. Then you can try and bounce it in your palm or pass it to your partner and bounce it back and forth to each other until it pops!
  • Bubbles are fragile so even without the oil on your hand it will break if you hit it too hard.

Bubble in a bubble

For this experiment you will need a flat, wipeable surface, like a tray, plate or table.

  • Dip your hand in your bubble mixture and wipe it on your flat surface so that you have a wet area.
  • Take your bubble blower (it’s the thing that looks like a pipette with the end cut off) and dip the wide end in your bubble mixture. Then blow through the thin end onto your surface. It should be more like a dome than a bubble!
  • Dip your bubble blower into the mixture again and this time push your bubble blower just inside your dome bubble and blow another bubble inside of it!
  • How many bubbles can you fit inside of one bubble?

Bubble cube

We always think of bubbles as being round, or spherical, but can they be another shape? The reasons bubbles are round is because it is the best shape for them to be. This is because it creates equal pressure all around the bubble which helps it to stay formed. You are going to try and make a cube shaped bubble now!

Chemical Cress is going to show you how to make your cube shape now –

Now carefully dip your cube into the bubble mixture and when you pull it out you should have a cube shaped bubble! However, if you tried to blow the bubble out of its cage it would turn back into a sphere.

Grab your bubble blower and use it to blow a bubble into the centre of the cube. It makes a cube within a cube!

Bubble Snake

For our final experiment you are going to make a bubble snake. Don’t worry, this isn’t a real snake, it’s a snake made of bubbles!

  • Stretch your cloth section over the top of the polystyrene cup and secure it with the elastic band.
  • Make sure that there are no gaps in the cloth and that the top of the cup is completely covered.
  • Using a pencil or pen, poke a hole in the cup, near the edge of the cloth (but not covered by the cloth).
  • Dip the top of the cup in your bubble mixture.
  • Poke your straw in the hole and blow gently, you should start to see a bubble snake!

The reason that bubbles stick together is because of something called surface tension. Here is Radium Rachel to explain what this means –