Anti-bubbles stand out as captivating objects of scientific curiosity in the present-day world. These captivating entities often referred to as inverse bubbles or anti-balloons, possess interesting properties that challenge our understanding of bubbles and their behavior.

Unlike regular bubbles (air-liquid-air), anti-bubbles are composed of a thin air/gas film encapsulating a liquid from a liquid (liquid-air-liquid). The liquid used to form anti-bubbles can vary depending on the desired properties and experiments being conducted. Water, soap solutions, and other liquids with suitable surface tension (γ) values are commonly employed.

Inverse of bubbles - anti ballons

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Chemical Aspect of Antibubbles

The main reason behind anti bubbles is the adsorption of gas molecules on the surface of the liquid, which keeps its effect even after that liquid is submerged into another liquid. This may either be physical or chemical adsorption depending upon the nature of gas and liquid molecules.

The nonwetting nature of the added liquid thus created becomes the reason behind a liquid pocket surrounded by a gaseous shell, inside of a liquid.

Preparation of Anti-Bubbles

Creating anti-bubbles involves a careful process to achieve the desired results.

Formation of antibubbles

A common method of this preparation involves:

1. Preparing a container filled with a liquid solution, such as a soap-water mixture.

2. A straw or a pipe with a small diameter may be used here. Dip one end of the straw in the liquid solution such that a few drops of the liquid is caught in it.

3. Now lift the straw upwards, with your thumb pressing on the other side creating a vacuum so that there is some amount of liquid that rises with the straw.

4. Keep the straw above the container such that there is some air in between the two portions of the liquids.

5. Remove your thumb from the other end, allowing the liquid to fall back into the container.

6. Some air will be caught in between those two portions of the liquid, and anti-bubbles are formed.


Due to their delicate nature, anti-bubbles require specific storage mechanisms to maintain their stability. Several factors should be considered to ensure longevity:

1. Container Selection

The containers used should have a smooth surface (borosilicate glasses).

2. Controlled Environment

The air tends to be less in density than liquids (always the case). Therefore, the solution containing the bubbles will need to be closed properly.

3. No Vibrations

Vibrations trigger molecular interactions and may lead to dividing larger bubbles into smaller parts. 

4. Regular Inspections

These bubbles may degrade over time and therefore continuous inspection is required.

Applications and Future Research

While anti-bubbles are primarily studied for their intriguing properties and scientific interest, they also hold potential for various applications. Research is ongoing to explore their use in drug delivery systems, microreactors, and even as novel tools in fields such as physics, chemistry, and fluid dynamics.

Continued investigation into the properties, behavior, and potential applications of anti-bubbles will undoubtedly unravel new and exciting possibilities.

Concepts Berg

What is the difference between a regular bubble and an anti-bubble?

Anti-bubbles have a gas coating around a liquid core, unlike regular bubbles which have a liquid coating around a gas core.

How are anti-bubbles formed and what materials are commonly used?

Anti-bubbles are formed by separating a liquid into two by a gas layer in between. The most commonly applied solutions are soap solutions.

Can anti-bubbles be generated using liquids other than water and soap solutions?

Yes, alternative liquids can be used to create anti-bubbles however, a high surface tension is always the key.

How long do anti-bubbles typically last before they deteriorate?

The lifespan of anti-bubbles varies, but regular inspection is needed as they can degrade over time. Usually, it is very low because the density of air is lower than the liquids and they tend to rise and diffuse in open air.

Are there specific storage requirements for preserving anti-bubbles?

Smooth containers, a controlled environment, and protection from vibrations are recommended for storage.

Can anti-bubbles be stored for extended periods of time?

Yes, with proper storage, anti-bubbles can be preserved for extended periods.

How can external factors like temperature and humidity affect anti-bubble stability?

Excessive heat or humidity can cause evaporation and condensation and may alter the anti-bubble properties.

Are there any safety considerations when working with anti-bubbles?

No specific safety considerations, but caution should be exercised when handling equipment.

How can I create anti-bubbles at home for educational purposes?

They can be created by using a soapy solution. Just start pouring back the liquid solution back into the main container and antibubbles will appear.