Astonishing Science. Spectacular museum.
Background information to accompany our
• 95% water• 3% washing up liquid• 2% glycerine
Water: The smallest unit of water is called a water molecule. A water molecule is so tiny there are around 1,390,000,000,000,000,000,000 molecules in a single drop of water! These water molecules are attracted to each other which causes something called surface tension, this creates a sort of skin on top of the surface of water. This is how pondskaters can sit on top of ponds and how you can balance a paper clip on top of water.
Washing up liquid: We add washing up liquid to water to lower the surface tension. It makes the water stretchy and wibbly-wobbly so that you can blow bubbles.
Glycerine: This is our special ingredient, sometimes called glycerol. Glycerine stops bubbles from drying out so they don’t pop as quickly and they stay alive for longer.
We teach you the art of wafting in our Bubble Show but here are some more tips and hints for keeping you bubbles happy and alive for longer.
• Clean things• Humidity - when there is lots of moisture in the air
• Dirty thing• Pointy things• Dry things• Wind
If you like bubbles, come to Launchpad and see our amazing Bubble Wall.
You can see more bubbles around the Museum, but you'll see that bubbles are not always made using bubble mix. Watch air bubbles float to the top of our water exhibit in the Garden or in the Challenge of Materials gallery.
Have a go at making your own giant bubble wands by bending an old coat hanger into a shape and wrapping some string around it.
Think you’re a bubble expert? Now try some of these other bubble experiments to wow your friends and family. • Bubble Caterpillar• Bubble in a Bubble• Bubbles Tennis• Bubble Dome
For the chance to make your own human bubbles take a look at our online shop for our Mega Bubble.