Trophies VIII … bubbling up

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It is often said that we live in our “own little bubbles”. Indeed, on the internet, search engines tailor results of searches to fit better with your previous searches [please see Eli Pariser’s TED talk “Beware of online filter bubbles”]. So if we’re all in bubbles, and you bring bubbles together, they form a foam.

I have tried ideas about making solid foams [dehydrating sucrose with concentrated sulphuric acid – dangerous but great to watch], making foams with some clay, using alternatives to bubbles and most recent relies on golf balls.  A guy called Plateau came up with rules about how bubbles fit together – regardless of size – but the rules sort of apply to close packed golf balls. Surfaces of three bubbles meet at 120 degrees and these “edges’ so to speak, form a tetrahedron. Same stuff sort of happens with packing golf balls tightly together, the spaces in between the balls follow the 120 deg and tetrahedron layouts. Each ball “kisses” 12 others and the points of kissing have a great deal of symmetry though the packing. Here are my plaster casts and I have drilled out the kiss points to open up the structure.

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Ed, our terrific course leader, suggested maybe trying ping pong balls as they might be cut out with less damage to the cast.  150 of ’em should arrive tomorrow!  Great, lots to play with but there is the problem that ping pong balls float very well.  Almost there for catching up.  More soon, Vincent

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