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These GIFs of bouncing bubbles and water droplets are mesmerizing

Via APS Physics
Brian Resnick is Vox’s science and health editor, and is the co-creator of Unexplainable, Vox's podcast about unanswered questions in science. Previously, Brian was a reporter at Vox and at National Journal.

Water has some odd physical properties. Its solid form floats on top of its liquid form. It boils at a much hotter temperature than predicted by its molecular weight.

And as a liquid, it exhibits a very strong surface tension. So strong that even droplets of water will bounce on water:

Adapted from APS Physics

The GIF above was adapted from a video in the Gallery of Fluid Motion, a site that hosts some of the most beautiful and mystifying visualizations of fluid dynamics from labs across the world. (Check out this video of a hummingbird's wings flapping through the air next.)

The MIT-produced video explains that when a drop of water hits a pool, only some of the water in the drop is absorbed into the pool. The rest bounces up and forms a new, smaller droplet with about half the diameter of the original.

Soap bubbles dropped onto films of soap will do the same thing. Though soap bubble dances a bit more in the air. It's fun. Look:

(Adapted from APS Physics)

The soap bubble's motion is nearly identical to the water droplet's. Here's a side-by-side comparison.

Adapted from APS Physics

And just like with water droplets, this process can repeat, resulting in smaller and smaller soap bubbles before it's fully absorbed into the film.

Adapted from APS Physics

Watch the full video here.

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