Physics and Astronomy

Bubble Trouble
Objective To make the largest, longest-lasting bubble.
Purpose To demonstrate surface tension.
Participants Any number of individuals or teams.

About 150 ml dishwashing detergent
(Joy - renamed Dawn - is the best from experience) and 1 L of water.
A flat container at least 30 cm X 30 cm X 8 cm .
2 plastic drinking straws.
80 cm of string.

  • Each team/individual has 5 tries to make the largest and longest-lasting bubble.
  • When making the bubbles, contestants must stand in front of a piece of cardboard (affixed to a wall) which has a grid-work of lines running horizontally and vertically. These lines should be 1 cm apart, thus forming squares 1 cm X 1 cm.
  • By using the grid as a background, the judges can determine the size of the bubble to the nearest centimetre.
  • Procedure
  • Thread the string through both straws (easy if sucked through).
  • Knot the string and trim off the ends of the knot and pull the knot inside one of the straws. Pull the straws apart to make the frame (see diagram on back).
  • Mix your water and detergent until you are satisfied you have the best combination for making large, long-lasting bubbles.
  • Dip the bubble frame into your bubble solution and make your first attempt at bubble formation
  • Judging Largest bubble scores 25 points and all subsequent ones score one point less according to rank of size.
    Longest-lasting bubble scores 25 points and all subsequent ones score one point less according to time rankings. Largest combined score wins the event.
    Source Youth Science Foundation

    Events | Location | Scheduling | Registration | Participants | Committee | Judges and Officials | Scoring | Awards | Media
    Contact Us | Our Sponsors | Faculty of Science | Western

    © 2001 The University of Western Ontario,
    Department of Physics and Astronomy

    Webmaster: Patrick Whippey
    Site Design: Julie Whitehead