Brief Communications

Nature 438, 930 (15 December 2005) | doi:10.1038/438930a; Published online 14 December 2005

Colloid science: Non-spherical bubbles

Anand Bala Subramaniam1, Manouk Abkarian1, L. Mahadevan1 & Howard A. Stone1

Surface tension gives gas bubbles their perfect spherical shape by minimizing the surface area for a given volume1. Here we show that gas bubbles and liquid drops can exist in stable, non-spherical shapes if the surface is covered, or 'armoured', with a close-packed monolayer of particles. When two spherical armoured bubbles are fused, jamming of the particles on the interface supports the unequal stresses that are necessary to stabilize a non-spherical shape.

  1. Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, USA

Correspondence to: Howard A. Stone1 Email:


These links to content published by NPG are automatically generated.