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Microgravity - Science and Technology

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 17–22 | Cite as

Taking Plateau into Microgravity: The Formation of an Eightfold Vertex in a System of Soap Films

  • D. G. T. Barrett
  • S. Kelly
  • E. J. Daly
  • M. J. Dolan
  • W. Drenckhan
  • D. Weaire
  • S. HutzlerEmail author
Original Article

Abstract

The microgravity phases of parabolic flights were used to perform experiments with soap films trapped in wire frames, a variation of the wire frame experiments originally designed by the nineteenth century Belgian scientist Joseph Plateau. We considered the formation of an eightfold vertex of Plateau borders within a cubic frame. In terrestrial experiments such a vertex can only be formed when liquid is forced through the Plateau borders, but in microgravity we found this vertex to be stable under equilibrium (non-flow) conditions once the liquid volume fraction exceeds 0.022 ± 0.005. This is consistent with the theoretical value for the transition, which for our experiment we estimate to be 0.0192.

Keywords

Plateau’s rules Eightfold vertex Microgravity Foam 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. G. T. Barrett
    • 1
  • S. Kelly
    • 1
  • E. J. Daly
    • 1
  • M. J. Dolan
    • 1
  • W. Drenckhan
    • 1
  • D. Weaire
    • 1
  • S. Hutzler
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.School of PhysicsTrinity College DublinDublin 2Ireland

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