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This question already has an answer here:

I was recently observing the way bubbles move as they pop and disappear. I noticed that when bubbles destabilize and pop, the remaining bubbles immediately surrounding it will move to fill its place. I was wondering what the driving cause is here.

At first, I figured that stickiness was the cause. But, I don't think this would be a driving force unless perhaps the bubbles are clustered (i.e. they share at least 1 membrane).

I've also noticed this behavior in groups of individual, non-clustered bubbles. As an introductory physics student, I'm curious: what causes this phenomenon?

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marked as duplicate by person27, anna v, John Rennie, CuriousOne, Red Act Mar 12 '16 at 8:41

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • $\begingroup$ You are not specifying what kind of bubbles in what medium. This might help youtube.com/watch?v=2gEGKZRPHqg $\endgroup$ – anna v Mar 12 '16 at 5:13
  • $\begingroup$ More specifically, bubbles between water and urine (gross, but that's honestly what inspired this question...) $\endgroup$ – person27 Mar 12 '16 at 5:17
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    $\begingroup$ I found a related question that answers this! physics.stackexchange.com/questions/102306/… Strange; I couldn't find one before posting. Voted to close as duplicate. $\endgroup$ – person27 Mar 12 '16 at 5:20
  • $\begingroup$ You are correct, it is a duplicate so I voted too. $\endgroup$ – anna v Mar 12 '16 at 5:25
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The blubbles exerce pressure forces with their neighboor through the shared membranes. Pressure is higher in blubbles than in free air, when within a field of bubbles it is balanced on each sides of bubble wall... as long as there is a neighbor. When this one pops, the rest of the pack around push towards the empty space.

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  • $\begingroup$ This answer addresses bubble clusters, but not individual bubbles as I'm talking about. $\endgroup$ – person27 Mar 12 '16 at 5:19
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The Nature is Smart; it prefers the state with the lowest energy (maximum entropy) in different manifestations.(surface tension in this case). Please refer to this link already answered. (Why does the nature always prefer low energy and maximum entropy?)

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  • $\begingroup$ I know this much, but I need to know how this is the driving force and what, specifically, is happening with the bubbles. $\endgroup$ – person27 Mar 12 '16 at 5:17

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