What is an Antibubble?

What is an Antibubble?

Author: ChemistryViews


An antibubble is a drop of liquid surrounded by a thin film of gas. It is the opposite of a gas bubble, which is a sphere of gas surrounded by liquid.

Antibubbles form when a liquid drips or flows turbulently into the same or another liquid. They can either slide over the surface of a liquid—in which case they are also called water pearls—or they can be completely immersed in the liquid.

Antibubbles are difficult to form because they are inherently unstable. They refract light back towards its source like rainbows, giving them a bright appearance.


Antibubble Experiment by Young Scientists

“Jugend forscht”, Germany’s premier youth competition, annually hosts over 120 contests to engage young people in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), offering substantial prizes and involving thousands of experts in the judging process. Since 2010, the German Research Foundation (DFG) has awarded the European Prize to three national winners of the “Jugend forscht” competition. In addition to a prize of 1,000 euros, each winner has the opportunity to prepare for the European Union Contest for Young Scientists (EUCYS) [1].

In 2024, the team from Baden-Württemberg, consisting of Maja Leber (16) and Julius Gutjahr (17), won both the Europa-Preis at “Jugend forscht” and the Chancellor’s Prize for the most original work by creating antibubbles through a specialized experiment.

In a specially designed test setup, the two students dropped droplets from a glass tube into a basin of water containing detergent. Upon impact, the droplet is surrounded by a thin layer of air, forming an antibubble. The students filmed this process and determined the optimal drop heights and tube diameters for creating antibubbles.



[1] Jugend forscht Bundessiegerinnen und Bundessieger 2024 in Heilbronn ausgezeichnet, Press release June 2, 2024. (accessed June 3, 2024)

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