Bubble Bath

I had a Eureka moment this week. Fortunately I was not sitting in a bath at the time and so I did not have to decide whether to suppress the urge (apparently written into the laws of physics for moments like this) to run around the streets naked, shouting happily about my discovery. Thinking about it though, if I’m ever going to try that, it should be while I live in southern California near the beach. In my neighbourhood, such behaviour would probably just count as part of the social background noise rather than anything significant.

The Eureka itself was to do with how bubbles behave acoustically when fragmenting in turbulence (for example underneath a breaking wave). It turns out that some bubbles are disguising themselves acoustically as other bubbles (because the dominant resonance is not at their natural frequency). This explains a gap in the data which was previously unexplained, and I am very happy because my model matches the data pretty well. Or, it matches it pretty well up to now. There are still lots of things to be tested, but the fact that it explains this major feature is very encouraging. So I worked all this out, plotted most of the relevant stuff and hopefully this is sufficient for the time being to exorcise the bubbles-on-the-brain demons. Just before I worked out what was going on, piles of ideas were sitting untidily round in my head, overflowing into corners that they really didn’t belong in (for example, the ones associated with eating yogurt and inventing cocktails). They jostled each other and squeaked and squawked and squeezed and generally wouldn’t leave me alone. So now they’ve been put in order and I can get on with some other things. Good ideas. Sit. Stay…

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2 responses to “Bubble Bath

  1. Very interesting. How does one model this kind of thing? Is it all computer modeling?

  2. Yes, all computer modelling. The models are based on experimental results though, so we are confident about the inputs.

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