Volume 77, Number 2, January 2007
|Number of page(s)||5|
|Section||Interdisciplinary Physics and Related Areas of Science and Technology|
|Published online||19 January 2007|
Pre-empting Plateau: The nature of topological transitions in foam
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
Accepted: 20 November 2006
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.
PACS: 82.70.Rr – Aerosols and foams / 83.80.Iz – Emulsions and foams / 47.20.Dr – Surface-tension-driven instability
© Europhysics Letters Association, 2007
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