Thin liquid films: Seeing bubbles in a better light A procedure for imaging the complex fluid dynamics in bubbles could greatly assist efforts to understand and exploit thin liquid films in applications ranging through medicine, industrial chemistry and engineering. Thin liquid films are ubiquitous in nature, found in such varied systems as soap bubbles, biological membranes, detergents, oils, insulation, foods and geological magma. Researchers in Italy led by Biagio Mandracchia at the Institute of Applied Science and Intelligent Systems in Naples, devised a novel holographic phase imaging technique to watch bubbles as they form, develop, burst and retract. The researchers built customized apparatus to create and manipulate the bubbles. The unprecedented level of detail being revealed offers deeper understanding of the physics underlying thin film behavior. Insights into the complex fluid dynamics within bubbles could advance thin film technology for many applications
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