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Bubbles form because of the surface tension of water. Hydrogen atoms in one water molecule are attracted to oxygen atoms in other water molecules. Normal bubbles enclose the maximum volume of air with the minimum amount of bubble solution, so they are always round. When you stretch your bubbles across contraptions like the bubble wall or a hula hoop, bubbles cling to the sides as you dip into the solution, making the bubbles all sorts of shapes. The surface tension of water, alone, is too strong to make good bubbles. Adding soap reduces the surface tension. It also adds oily film that slows down the evaporation process, so you get longer-lasting bubbles.

What You Will Need:

Liquid dish soap
Distilled water
2 clean containers with lids
Glycerin or light corn syrup
Measuring cup
Mixing spoon
A drinking straw

What To Do:

Measure 6 cups of water into one container, then pour 1 cup of dish soap into the water and slowly stir it until the soap is mixed in. Try not to let foam or bubbles form while you stir.
Once the soap and water are mixed, Blow through the straw to make bubbles. Do you get a lot of bubbles? How big are they? How long do they last before they pop?
Measure 1 tablespoon of glycerin or 1/4 cup of corn syrup and add it to the "Super Bubbles" container. Stir the solution until it is mixed together.
Dip your straw into the new bubble solution and blow. Are these bubbles different from the plain soap and water bubbles? Are they bigger or smaller? Do they last longer or pop faster? Can you blow a really big bubble?

To make even better bubbles, put the lid on the container and let your super bubble solution sit overnight. You can add glycerin or corn syrup to the other container to make those bubbles better, too. (Note: If you used "Ultra" dish soap, double the amount of glycerin or corn syrup.).


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