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Great American Land Bubble

Some materials, such as sandpaper, have macroscopic surface features, meaning you can feel the bumps and see them with your naked eye. Other materials, however, have microscopic ones. Even if the material looks and feels smooth to you, it might have very tiny bumps or pores. These can actually help the material repel water because the latter is held together by surface tension, and thereby unable to penetrate into the tiny gaps in the material. Other materials such as paper or sponges have larger gaps that help then absorb water.

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All of these properties, along with other factors such as how fast the bubble is moving and whether the surface is wet, can affect whether a bubble is more likely to pop when it lands on a particular surface. Try this project to find out what works best to catch a bubble!

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Observations and results When all your materials were dry, you probably found smooth, waterproof surfaces did the best job catching bubbles. Wax paper, plastic wrap and aluminum foil all work well. Materials that absorb water, such as paper, probably caused the bubbles to pop because they quickly soaked up the water in the bubble. You might have been even more surprised to find some rough or absorbent surfaces such as carpet could also catch the bubbles.

Carpet is composed of lots of individual tiny fibers.

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When a bubble lands on the carpet it touches many of these tiny fibers at once, so they can hold the bubble up without popping it as a single fiber would. When you got the surfaces wet, especially with soapy water, it should have become much easier to catch the bubbles. The water forms a thin film on top of the solid surface, preventing the bubble from touching the solid directly. This can greatly extend its life. This activity brought to you in partnership with Science Buddies. You have free article s left.

Already a subscriber? Sign in. See Subscription Options. Key concepts Physics Surfaces Surface tension Hydrophilic Hydrophobic Introduction Have you ever tried to catch a bubble without popping it? While politicians and the mainstream media trumpet fracking as a great American energy revolution, it has in fact been a financial disaster, writes Justin Mikulka of DeSmog blog. Courtesy DeSmog blog. When you lose money on each barrel of oil you pump and sell — the more you pump, the more money you lose.

In , the shale king was indicted for rigging bids at drilling lease auctions. The same could be said of the current shale industry. How does the author measure success? Not via profits.

But here is the catch — when you lose money on each barrel of oil you pump and sell — the more you pump, the more money you lose. This headline manages to be, at the same time, both very misleading and true. Misleading because the industry has never made money.

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Until analysts and investors start talking about profits instead of growth, this time is likely to end, at some point, in a completely familiar and predictable way: bust. The oil industry has always been a boom or bust industry.

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