Bubbly Acoustics. No, really.

Today I learned there is such a thing as foam science. Foam science.

According to this article from ScienceDaily, Juliette Pierre from the Paris Diderot University, Parics, France and her colleagues study liquid foams. Using an ” impedance tube to measure the velocity and attenuation of acoustic waves in liquid foams in a broad frequency range”, they have published a study that is a first in the literature.

Does this come as a surprise to you? You’d think that someone would investigate the sound properties of bubbles sometime beforehand.


Using well-characterised liquid foam samples, the authors knew all the parameters needed for computing predictions on the acoustics characteristics of existing foam models. They found that the effective velocity of sound in liquid foams is low, lower than the speed of sound in water and air, and confirmed that sound velocity only depends on the liquid volume fraction and not on the bubble size over the investigated range of frequencies.

Has anyone ever tried singing in a bubble bath? Or perhaps while shaving? Shaving foam apparently has a higher effective sound velocity than any other foam.

The next step, reads the article, is to understand the influence of the distribution of bubble size and the “physicochemical composition of the foam.”

I still think the coolest thing this article has informed me about is that there are scientists that get to study bubbles. This study can help in assessing any liquid foam’s bubble size, or in designing the optimal foam structure for sound proofing, Science Daily reports.



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