Extreme Science: Extreme Bubble Wands - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Extreme Science: Extreme Bubble Wands

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What you will need:

  1. ½" PVC pipe approximately 30" in length
  2. ½" PVC end caps (2)
  3. 3/4" PVC coupler (1)
  4. 1" Plastic ring
  5. About 6 feet of cotton ribbon
  6. Bubble solution
  7. Bucket
  8. Adult supervision

Procedure:

1) Place an end cap over one end of your PVC pipe.

2) Tie the ribbon onto the coupler approximately 27” from the end of the ribbon as shown:

Bubble Wand 1

3) Place coupler over open end of PVC pipe.

4) Place the long end of the ribbon through the plastic ring.

5) Place both ends of your ribbon in the open end of the PVC pipe, then place the other PVC end cap of the end of the pipe pressing it on holding the ribbon in place as shown:

Bubble Wand 2

6) Hold the PVC pipe in one hand (on the opposite end from where the ribbon is secured by the end cap) and Slide the coupler down towards the opposite end (where the ribbon is coming out)

7) Dip the ribbon into your bubble solution making sure it is completely saturated.

8) Lift your bubble wand out of the bubble solution and begin slowly moving it through the air while slowly pulling the coupler towards you. This will open up the loop in the ribbon material allowing air to begin to push through the bubble solution to create your bubble.

9) I have found with practice that if you open it too wide, the bubble tends to pop quicker. I usually open the ribbon about 10-12 inches while forming a large bubble.

10) Once your bubble is to the desired size, slowly push the coupler back towards the opposite end causing your ribbon to close the gap, sealing off your bubble.

What is going on?

A bubble is a thin film of soapy water filled with air or any other gas. Most bubble solutions consist of water, soap and glycerin. The glycerin is the ingredient that makes your bubble more durable. The film that makes a bubble actually has three layers. One thin layer of water with a layer of soap molecules on either side of it. These layers of soap actually help the bubble to last longer because it helps to slow down the evaporation of the water molecules. Each soap molecule is oriented so that its polar (hydrophilic) head faces the layer of water leaving its hydrophobic hydrocarbon tail towards the air and away from the water layer. The air that is inside the bubble is under compression, due to surface tension. This also makes the bubbles nice and round. The water will tend to drain from the top of the bubble due to gravity. When the film becomes too thin to support the heavier lower portion, the bubble tends to pop.

BUBBLE SOLUTION RECIPE:

2/3 cup Dawn dishwashing soap
1 gallon water
2 to 3 tablespoons of glycerin (available at most pharmacies)

Mix well and let set at least 12 hours. I have found that the longer it sets, the better it gets!

I was told that this recipe works well for long lasting bubbles but have not tried it out yet:

1/3 cup commercial bubble solution (the stuff that comes with a wand)
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup glycerine

- Radical Rick
Extreme Science
www.ExtremeScienceFun.com
509-892-7621

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