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Harkins, W. D.; Brown, F. E. The Determination of Surface Tension (Free Surface Energy), and the Weight of Falling Drops: The Surface Tension of Water And Benzene by the Capillary Height Method. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1919, 41, 499–524. The correlation factor in Table IX (p. 519) was used for this experiment.

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Practical Chemistry of Long-Lasting Bubbles

1Kindai University Fukuoka High School, 11-6 Kayanomori, Iizuka, Fukuoka, Japan

2Department of Biological and Environmental Chemistry, Kindai University, 11-6 Kayanomori, Iizuka, Fukuoka, Japan

World Journal of Chemical Education. 2016, Vol. 4 No. 2, 32-44
DOI: 10.12691/wjce-4-2-2
Copyright © 2016 Science and Education Publishing

Cite this paper:
Momoko Ueno, Naho Isokawa, Kazuki Fueda, Suzuka Nakahara, Hinako Teshima, Nanami Yamamoto, Haruka Yokoyama, Yukina Noritsugu, Koushi Shibata, Kourin Miyagawa, Seiko Tanaka, Takashi Hirano, Ayako Fujito, Ayaka Takashima, Kenichi Kanno. Practical Chemistry of Long-Lasting Bubbles. World Journal of Chemical Education. 2016; 4(2):32-44. doi: 10.12691/wjce-4-2-2.

Correspondence to: Kenichi  Kanno, Department of Biological and Environmental Chemistry, Kindai University, 11-6 Kayanomori, Iizuka, Fukuoka, Japan. Email:


In this report, an experiment is described in which high school students investigate long-lasting bubbles of their own design. The features of the soap bubbles change depending on their chemical composition. To investigate the students’ original bubbles, the chemical structures and features of the ingredients are considered when choosing the detergent, polymer, and other chemical components. Soap bubble containing sucrose, sodium alkyl ether sulfate (AES)-detergent and poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) (or partially hydrolyzed poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVAAc)) often maintains a spherical shape on various solid surfaces, including concrete, asphalt, tile, and grass after landing. Students hypothesize that the low surface tension of the long-lasting bubble is not the sole reason for its long lifetime on various solid surface. The mechanism behind the extended lifetime is discussed through experiments involving the surface tension and lifetimes of the bubbles under various humidity conditions. Students encounter basic chemistry through the experiment, which can be adopted into the chemistry curriculum.