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Blow Bigger Bubbles

based on 17 ratings
Author: Keren Perles

Grade Level: 8th - 10th; Type: Physics

Objective:

Many components affect how big a bubble you can blow. This project tests the effects of diluted soap on the size of the bubble.

Research Question:

Does diluting bubble solution (or dish soap) affect the size of the bubbles you make from it?

You only have one bottle of bubble solution, and you need it to last all summer. Does it make sense to dilute it with water so that it will last longer, or will that make your bubbles too small? Find out with this science project.

Materials:

  • ¼ cup dishwashing soap
  • 3 containers
  • Water
  • Drinking straw
  • Ruler


Experimental Procedure:

  1. Pour ¼ cup of dishwashing soap into a container.
  2. Pour ¼ cup of dishwashing soap into a second container.
  3. Add 1 ¼ cup of water to the second container. This makes a diluted solution that has a ratio of 1:8.
  4. Pour ¼ cup of the mixture in the second container into a third container.
  5. Add 1 ¼ cups of water to the third container. The third container now contains a diluted solution that has a ratio of 1:64.
  6. Pour a small amount of the soap from the first container onto a clean, flat tabletop. Spread it over the table to make a circle that has a diameter of approximately 12 inches.
  7. Place one end of the straw into the center of the circle, and blow into the other end. A large bubble hemisphere will rise up from the table. Blow it slowly until it pops.
  8. Measure the diameter of the bubble that you blew. (This will be obvious because of the wet circle on the tabletop.)
  9. Repeat Steps 6-8 two more times and average together the three measurements that you get.
  10. Rinse off the tabletop with a paper towel soaked in vinegar. This will remove the dish soap.
  11. Repeat Steps 6-9 using the 1:8 and 1:64 bubble solutions.
  12. Compare the three averages. How did the dilutions compare with the undiluted soap?


Terms/Concepts: Solutions; Dilutions; How are diluted solutions different from undiluted solutions?

References:

  • Experiments With Bubbles, by Robert Gardner. Pp 44-46.
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