Bubbles and Temperature
Does the temperature of water affect how long bubbles will
is my science project i would like to know the answer and why. i
would also like to know if heat and expansion or cold and contraction
have anything to do with the results. thanks.
Here's how science projects work: you pose a question (you've posed a
very good one), and you devise a method of discovering the answer (your
method is flawed, in part because it only works if somebody already
knows the answer). There are other flaws in your method of discovering
1) it's no fun
2) at best, all it gets you is the answer. I'm a science-fair judge,
and I'll tell you a secret about science fair judges: we don't care all
that much if a kid gets the right answer; we REALLY care if the method
of discovering the answer is well considered by the kid, and well
executed by the kid -- even if it's completely wrong for some technical
reason a kid would be unlikely to consider or understand.
Here's the approach I would take: Why do bubbles ever pop? Why should
they not last forever? Do different ones last for different lengths of
time? Are bubbles uniform in structure and constant from birth to
violent death, or does their structure evolve in time? Where does the
water that makes up the skin of a bubble go? What would you do if you
were a water molecule at the surface of a bubble? Does your answer
depend on whether you're on the inside surface or the outside surface?
What do water molecules at other water surfaces (e.g., lakes, bathtubs,
raindrops) do? If you can identify any pop causes, do any of them seem
likely to be temperature dependent? Can you think of a test that would
Other things equal, the higher the temperature, the shorter is the life of
the bubble. The reason for this is that the rate of evaporation of water [in
the bubble's skin] increases dramatically with increasing temperature. This
makes the thickness of the film smaller and also changes the relative
concentration of the components of the bubble solution.
Search the Web for "bubbles". There is a wealth of info there. There are
also several elementary books you can order from Barnes & Noble or Amazon.
I would suggest doing the experiment to find your answer. put bubbles in
hot water and some in cold water and record your results. Make sure you use
the same amount of water, and the same amount of liquid soap (or bubbles) in
your experiment. Good luck.
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Update: June 2012