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July 2020

Undergraduate seminars

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Measuring the World's Biggest Bubble
13:10 Tue 19 Sep, 2017 :: Napier LG23 :: Prof Matt Roughan :: School of Mathematical Sciences

Recently I had a bit of fun helping Graeme Denton measure his Guinness World Record (GWR) Largest (Indoor) Soap Bubble. It was a lot harder than I initially thought it would be. Soap films are interesting mathematically -- in principle they form minimal surfaces, and have constant curvature. So it should have been fairly easy. But really big bubbles aren't ideal, so measuring the GWR bubble required a mix of maths and pragmatism. It's a good example of mathematical modeling in general, so I thought it was worth a few words. I'll tell you what we did, and how we estimated how big the bubble actually was. Some links: