Bursting of soap films. I. An experimental study

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"Bursting of soap films. I. An experimental study"
Winnie R. McEntee, & Karol J. Mysels
Journal of Physical Chemistry 73(9) 3018-3028 (1969)

Soft Matter Keywords

soap film, inertia regime

Figure 1. Top row shows a series of high-speed flash photographs of bursting films taken in reflected light. Delay between perforating spark and illuminating flash (film thickness): a) 75 microseconds (.28 microns), b) 250 microseconds (.43 microns), c) 200 microseconds (.01 microns). Bottom row shows scattered light images of a bursting film. Delay and film thickness: a) 900 microseconds (3.4 microns), b) 320 microseconds (.029 microns).
Figure 2. Apparatus for the reproducible formation of vertical films between gold electrodes.
Figure 3. Schematic arrangement for photographing the bursting film by a flash occurring at a specified delay after the initiating spark.
Figure 4. Top plot: hole radius versus time delay for several film thicknesses. Bottom plot: dependence of rim velocity on film thickness and film solution composition.


McEntee and Mysels present the data from an experimental study on bursting soap films. The films burst in an inertial regime, so we expect the viscosity of liquid film to have little impact on the dynamics of the bursting. Taking high-speed flash photographs of the burst process at different time delays from the point of perforation, the authors validate predictions on the velocity of the receding rim.

Bursting Soap Films

written by Donald Aubrecht