These original Kirt's Cogitations™ may be reproduced
(no more than 5, please) provided proper credit is given to me, Kirt Blattenberger.
here to return to the Table of Contents.
Cog·i·ta·tion [koj-i-tey'-shun] – noun: Concerted
reflection; meditation; contemplation.
Kirt [kert] – proper noun: RF Cafe webmaster.
Blowing Bubbles at the ISS
While playing around on the International Space
Station, astronaut-scientist Donald Pettit discovered that in the absence of gravity, ordinary water would
maintain itself in a thin film stretched across a ring similar to a child's bubble wand. When shaken, the film
held, and would sometimes eject a droplet or two of water - causing the film to get even thinner. On Earth, the
surface tension of plain water is too weak to withstand the gravitational force. Adding soap to the water greatly
increases its surface tension, allowing the film to persist in a gravitational field. This newfound phenomenon is
being studied now for its application in computational fluid dynamics and turbulence.