What is it about?

Magnetic soap films were created by adding magnetic nanoparticles to soap films. A magnet was applied to understand whether the behaviour of these magnetic soap films could be controlled. We observed that the liquid in each magnetic soap film flowed towards the magnet and that the speed of the flow increased with the concentration of magnetic nanoparticles in the film. The magnet also had a key influence on the lifetimes of these films: some magnetic soap films survived for longer than traditional soap films when a magnetic field was applied, while others burst earlier when a magnet was applied.

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Why is it important?

It was discovered, for the first time, that a magnetic field can be used to control the stability of soap films. Ultimately, a more refined control over the stability of soap films and bubbles could lead to the development of new technologies.


We were delighted to see that a relatively simple experimental setup, which featured a light source, a light diffuser, and a camera, allowed for a rich variety of structures and dynamics to be recorded at high resolution. We are hopeful that the results of this study and the outlined methodology will trigger further studies that contribute to acquiring control over the stability and dynamics of soap films and bubbles.

Navraj Lalli
Imperial College London

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This page is a summary of: The stability of magnetic soap films, Physics of Fluids, May 2023, American Institute of Physics,
DOI: 10.1063/5.0146164.
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