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Abstract: A soap bubble is a metastable object that eventually breaks. Indeed, thesoapy water film thins until rupture, due to drainage and evaporation. In ourexperimental investigations, floating bubbles at the surface of a liquid bathhave been considered. Their lifetime has been measured and reported withrespect to their radius. Large bubbles last longer than small ones. Moreover,small bubbles have more predictable lifetimes than large ones. We propose ageneral equation for that lifetime, based on the lubrication theory. Theevaporation is shown to be an essential process which determines the bubblelifetime.

Author: T. Gilet, T. Scheller, E. Reyssat, N. Vandewalle, S. Dorbolo


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