Bubble Stability

When a finite sample of water experiences tension, it may develop voids – bubbles. Sa Hoon Min, a postdoctoral researcher in the Berkowitz Group, and Max Berkowitz, published in The Journal of Chemical Physics, present a result for the work, that needs to be done to create a bubble in fixed volume of water under tension. They showed in this paper that the work depends on the general form of stress–strain relationship.

They also observed that it is very important to include the curvature-dependent surface tension into consideration in order to explain bubble stability. The analytical result they obtained for the work allows the prediction for the values of critical and stable radii of the bubbles. The team also performed simulations on the TIP4P/2005 water model and observed creation of bubbles in water under stretch.

Combining analytical results obtained from thermodynamic description with the results from computer simulations allowed the team to determine the two parameters that describe the curvature-dependent surface tension and also to find the values of critical and stable bubble radii. They also determined the values of critical bubble radii by using mean first-passage time calculations.