Why do soap bubbles appear colorful

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why do soap bubbles appear colorful

Soap Bubbles: Their Colors and Forces Which Mold Them by Charles Vernon Boys

An excellent primer and the classic work on the topic of soap bubbles and films, this book employs simple experiments to establish a practical basis for the existence and function of surface tension and energy minimization. Dozens of experiments require nothing more than soap, straws, and bits of rubber, yet they impart profound and fundamental concepts relating to the science of fluids.
Geared toward readers without much background in the subject, the book begins without difficult calculations and concludes with only the simplest equations. Lucid and concise experiments allow observers to formulate their own practical understanding of soap bubbles and provide a foundation for more serious studies. More than 80 illustrations complement the text.
File Name: why do soap bubbles appear colorful.zip
Size: 64083 Kb
Published 19.12.2018

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Soap bubble

A soap bubble is an extremely thin film of soapy water enclosing air that forms a hollow sphere with an iridescent surface. Soap bubbles usually last for only a few seconds before bursting, either on their own or on contact with another object. They are often used for children's enjoyment, but they are also used in artistic performances. Assembling several bubbles results in foam. When light shines onto a bubble it appears to change colour. Unlike those seen in a rainbow, which arise from differential refraction, the colours seen in a soap bubble arise from interference of light reflecting off the front and back surfaces of the thin soap film.

Rainbow bubbles aren't just pretty to look at, Isaac Newton was able to make a remarkable discovery from this phenomenon. By Len Fisher. Some wavelengths colours cancel each other out, while others are reinforced.
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Try It Out

Has someone ever told you that every cloud has a silver lining? - If you pay attention, you can see some pretty cool stuff that you might otherwise miss.

Forgot your password? Or sign in with one of these services. Looking back at my childhood, some of my fondest memories were those sunny days when my siblings and I could just run around and blow bubbles. It was so amazing to us how we could create something so entertaining out of the simple soap solution. To go along with the mystery of making bubbles, we always were perplexed by how the bubbles always had a shimmery rainbow color to them.


  1. Thracalmordi says:

    A soap bubble is a very thin sheet of water sandwiched between two layers of soap molecules. Bubbles A variety of beautiful colors appear in the swirls. Often.

  2. Joseph B. says:

    Why do soap bubbles have color? - Physics yeah! - APlusPhysics Community

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