Tag Archives: Bubbles

More Fluorescent Bubbles!

Can’t get enough of bubbles? Here at AstroCamp we love playing with them too! This is a great DIY that you should definitely try at home. All you will need to make fluorescent bubbles is a blacklight, bowl, dish soap, ink from a highlighter, a little water, and a bubble wand. Then let the fun begin!


But what are you really seeing? We know that can have a funny way of working sometimes, and fluorescence is one of those times. Fluorescence is a property that only some materials have. It is the property of absorbing light of a short wavelength and high energy, and then emitting it at a longer wavelength and lower energy. This is a type of luminescence which is the emission of light due to a chemical reaction, electrical stimulation, or stress on crystals.

For the case of the fluorescent bubbles, the violet and ultraviolet light interacts with the highlighter fluid. Don’t worry, it is a low energy ultraviolet that will not harm you. Ultraviolet light is too high of an energy for humans to see. The highlighter fluid absorbs that high energy light, and then emits its own lower energy, visible light, which we can see as the impressive glow! Try it out with different colors to experiment which colors of highlighter fluid works best.

fluorescent flower

But where else is ultraviolet found? Did you know that the sun is the main source of ultraviolet light? There are actually some animals on Earth, like reindeer and butterflies that can see in the ultraviolet spectrum, and some flowers that have patterns in their petals that can only be seen in the the ultraviolet. So the next time you are outside on a bright sunshiny day, get your fluorescent bubble solution out and try to see the world through a new filter.

fluorescent daisy

Anti-Bubbles DIY!

We have all experienced bubbles in our day to day lives, whether its blowing bubbles outside on a summer day, seeing bubbles in the soda that you drink, or blowing through your straw. It’s just a thin sphere of liquid enclosing air or some other type of gas, but what is an anti-bubble?

As you might guess, it is basically just the exact opposite of a regular bubble: a thin sphere of air or other gas that encloses a liquid. Surprisingly, you have probably seen these before without having realized it. Want to make some anti-bubbles? Here is a great DIY experiment that you should definitely try at home. All you will need is some dish soap, water, a pipette, food coloring, two cups and maybe some corn syrup to see even cooler results.

Mix some of the dish soap with water in cup #1 without forming suds. In cup #2, make the same mixture and then add some food coloring. With the pipette, take some of the colored mixture from cup #2 and squeeze it into cup #1 without touching the surface of the liquid in cup #1.  If you do it slowly you should be able to see spheres of liquid resting on top of the surface and then disappearing quickly.  If you squeeze it quickly, the stream of liquid will pull some of the air from above down into the cup, forming an anti-bubble!

To see anti-bubbles in a different way you can use some milk, food coloring, dish soap and a cotton swab. Pour some milk on a plate and drip some food coloring in the middle. With a cotton swab saturated in dish soap, touch the food coloring. You should see an awesome explosion of color from the dish soap repelling from the milk. Now take the cotton swab and gently flick the milk. You might be able to observe some spheres bouncing along the surface. If you did, congratulations, you just made more anti-bubbles!


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