Department of Physics

Department News

Physics Colloquium and Scholarship Recognition on Oct 16, 2009.

Oct 13, 2009

A Physics colloquium and scholarship recognition will be held on Friday, October 16 at 4 p.m. in Currens Hall 205. Please join us for refreshments at 3:30 in Currens 210.

Speaker: Professor Fred Behroozi

Date: October 16, 2009 (Friday)

Time: 4 PM in 205 Currens Hall

The Art and Science of Soap Bubbles and Soap Films


Soap bubbles fascinate and delight us all. Nowadays we associate soap bubbles with fun and laughter, young children at play, and carefree summer days. But this was not always so. Soap bubbles became popular in the 17th century paintings and prints primarily as a metaphor to convey the impermanence and fragility of life.

In this talk, we will first view soap bubbles through the work of several 17th and 18th century painters with particular attention to the work of the French painter Jean Simeon Chardin (1699-1779). Chardin was first to use soap bubbles to convey a sense of play and wonder.

Next we will discuss a little of the chemistry, physics, and mathematics associated with soap bubbles. Along the way we will demonstrate and discuss several fascinating physical phenomena (light scattering, interference colors, bubble mechanics, and minimal surfaces) using soap bubbles and soap films.

About the speaker: Professor Fred Behroozi is a professor of physics at The University of Northern Iowa. His research focuses on the use of a miniature laser interferometer to study the properties of solid and fluid surfaces at the nanometer scale.