Pre-empting Plateau: The nature of topological transitions in foamS. Hutzler1, D. Weaire1, 2, S. J. Cox3, A. van der Net1 and E. Janiaud1
1 School of Physics, Trinity College Dublin - Dublin 2, Ireland
2 Departamento de Engenharia de Materiais, Instituto Superior Técnico - Av. Rovisco Pais, Lisboa, Portugal
3 Institute of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, University of Wales - Aberystwyth, Ceredigion SY23 3BZ, UK
received 27 June 2006; accepted in final form 20 November 2006; published January 2007
published online 19 January 2007
When the area of a face in a dry foam approaches zero in some quasistatic processes, Plateau's rules dictate that there must be an instability. This is more subtle than generally supposed. We argue that it is generally pre-empted, that is, the instability arises before an unstable multiple vertex is formed. Experiments and calculations which simulate Plateau's wire frame experiments support this view.
82.70.Rr - Aerosols and foams .
83.80.Iz - Emulsions and foams .
47.20.Dr - Surface-tension-driven instability .
© Europhysics Letters Association 2007