Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Everlasting Bubbles

Want big bubbles? Want bubbles that not only do they last a little bit longer....make them big! Here is a tutorial on How to make those bubbles with products that you have in your own home! Even though the bubbles are made with natural products, please note that it is not to be consumed!

Making Bubble Mix

While many people make bubbles out of any old detergent and water, you can get the biggest, longest lasting bubbles if you use liquid detergent and syrup. Use a mixture of Dawn (or Joy) and Karo Light Syrup. With this mixture for every 1/2 cup of liquid detergent, add about 1 tablespoon of Karo Syrup. However, the mixture can be varied a lot without affecting the bubble much.
When mixing up a batch of bubble mix you should realize that there are several sure fire bubble busters - dirt and other bubbles. You should try to make sure that the containers you are using are very clean and that you don't stir too much or too quickly, keeping the bubbles down.
Bubbles also tend to like cold air, but sometimes there is not much you can do about the temperature!

Monster Bubbles
6 cups water (Distilled is best) 3/4 cup corn syrup (Karo Light)2 cups Joy (or Dawn) dish washing liquid
Mix together. Let set 4 hours (to let bubble settle), then enjoy.
Any solution you make at home is 10 times as potent as the store-bought stuff. Vendors water it down so you always have to buy more. Here are two recipes:
12 Cups of water 1 cup Dish Soap (Buy a brand name hand dish washing soap, not dishwasher soap.) 3 tablespoons of glycerin (in lotion aisle of drug stores)
If you want to make a MUCH larger batch:
4 gallons of water in a 5 gallon bucket 6 cups of dish soap (Buy a brand name hand dish washing soap, not dishwasher soap.) 1 cup of glycerin
You can store this liquid forever and it will still work. Make a lot if you can and store it in sealable containers!

The Physics of Bubbles
Have you ever noticed that when you run water from the tap into a sink that some bubbles are formed?
These water bubbles don't last very long because the forces between water molecules tears these bubbles apart. But there is a way to reduce these forces and form bubbles - of course that means using soap.
Liquid detergents are especially good at reducing the forces between water molecules and letting bubbles form. In fact detergent molecules will cover the surface of a bubble and let it expand a great deal without breaking. A soap bubble actually is a sandwich of air on the inside, a layer of detergent molecules, a layer of water and finally another layer of detergent molecules. The inner and outer layers of detergent can stretch a great deal and the water helps hold the bubble together.
Have you ever looked very carefully at a bubble as it floats along and then pops?
Sometimes you can see reflections in a bubble, and if you look carefully you will see lots of colors swirling around on the surface of the bubble. Just before the bubble bursts some part of the bubble will look like it has lots of black swirls on it. There is a lot going on within a bubble and if you watch them carefully you will begin to understand how they are formed and how they break.
These colors and the reflection is because light is bouncing off both the inside and outside surface of the bubble. When this happens light waves from the inner and outer surfaces interfere with each other and produce brightly colored patterns. By doing the light and optics activities you can learn more about light waves and the interference of waves. Since sunlight contains a wide range of colors. Each color has a unique wavelength. You see a particular color when the surface of the bubble is just the right thickness (one quarter wavelength thick) to cause constructive interference for a a particular color. But when the surface of the bubble gets very thin the light destructively interferes and you see mostly black.

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