Dynamics of bubbles spontaneously entering in a tube

We just published the study related to the bamboo foam illustrated on this picture that received the “coup de coeur” price from the CNRS picture contest.

When an open tube of small diameter touches a bubble of a larger diameter, the bubble spontaneously shrinks and pushes a soap film in the tube. We characterize the dynamics for different bubble sizes and number of soap films in the tube. We rationalize this observation from a mechanical force balance involving the Laplace pressure of the bubble and the viscous force from the advancing soap lamellae in the tube. We propose a numerical resolution of this model, and an analytical solution in an asymptotic regime. These predictions are then compared to the experiments. The emptying duration is primarily affected by the initial bubble to tube diameter ratio and by the number of soap films in the tube.

The publication is in Soft Matter.