Phenomenological Analysis in Thin Films of Soap Bubbles


Degree work to obtain the major title of Physics Engineer (BSc)
Note: 5.0/5.0
Congratulations Award from Science Faculty and Chancellor of the University
Under advice of Professor Roman Castañeda; in collaboration with photographer Santiago Betancur Z.
Universidad Nacional de Colombia; 2008.

  • Scientific investigation that combines artistic photography to illustrate physics phenomena.
  • It considers geometrical, mechanical, physicochemical, hydrodynamic and optical features of soap bubbles.
  • One of the pictures was awarded with the first price in the SPIE-congress (International Society for Optical Engineering) in San Diego, Ca. 2008.

In the end of my career, soap bubbles became the subject for my thesis degree: ‘phenomenological analysis in thin films of soap bubbles’. Because my strong interest in plastic arts soap bubbles seemed the ideal research subject, which can be used for both academic research and scientific communication by interactive media, with the condition to show a good fitting between science and aesthetics. The investigation was an illustrated scientific document where graphical material and mathematical language got fused together.

The result was a great success: different features were developed related to soap bubbles surfaces, this means from the scope of the principles of nature, concerning geometrical, mechanical, physicochemical, hydrodynamic and optical features.

Furthermore, the analysis was complemented with photos and videos preciously made by a professional photographer, whose work exposed with precise detail the behavior of colors, gravity or turbulences on the surfaces. One of the pictures was awarded with the first price in the SPIE-congress (International Society for Optical Engineering) in San Diego, Ca. 2008.

Professor Román Castañeda, head of the Physics School and the optics research group of the National University of Colombia, sectional Medellin, was the thesis adviser. The aesthetic process was sheared with Santiago Betancur, visual artist from the same university, he investigates soap bubbles with photography and video, capturing amazing and useful effects for science communication.

With this project I designed two experiments for children to appreciate and learn about geometrical properties, so that they could activate the devices to generate soap bubbles and polygonal form as minimal surfaces. Furthermore a great format arrangement was designed for exposing optic and hydrodynamic patterns to general public in an interactive science museum: One labyrinth of soap bubbles on the walls and vibratorial thin films which could be activated with sound sensors.

To know more about Santiago Betancur´s work, click the following link: Santiago Betancur Z

Related links (Spanish):

Estudiante de la UN gana Art Fringe Competition 2008

Con su tesis de grado, estudiante gana el Art Fringe Competition 2008

La Física y la estética fascinante de las burbujas de jabón