Rippling instability of a collapsing bubble

Rava Da Silveira*, Sahraoui Chaïeb, L. Mahadevan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


When a bubble of air rises to the top of a highly viscous Liquid, it forms a dome-shaped protuberance on the free surface. UnLike a soap bubble, it bursts so slowly as to collapse under its own weight simultaneously, and folds into a wavy structure. This rippling effect occurs for both elastic and viscous sheets, and a theory for its onset is formulated. The growth of the corrugation is governed by the competition between gravitational and bending (shearing) forces and is exhibited for a range of densities, stiffnesses (viscosities), and sizes - a result that arises less from dynamics than from geometry, suggesting a wide validity. A quantitative expression for the number of ripples is presented, together with experimental results that support the theoretical predictions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1468-1471
Number of pages4
Issue number5457
StatePublished - Feb 25 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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