Bubbles and Anti-Bubbles in Space

Having fun with hardcore science in outer space is a great reason to stay in school, kids. In this video, astronauts on the International Space Station play with liquid anti-bubbles (the blobs of water that float around in zero gravity) by injecting air bubbles into them. Then things get even crazier when they figure out how to use the water injector to spin the anti-bubbles. Finally they top it off by shooting lasers through it because hey, why not? They’re in space.

By the way, the answer to the question at the end is the rotation of the sphere adds a centrifugal force to the mass of water in the anti-bubble. This pushes the denser water towards the outside of the bubble which also gathers the lighter air bubbles in the center. The same type of thing happens when your washer goes through a spin cycle and all the clothes end up squished to the outside of the drum.

**UPDATE** My friend thinks the answer to the challenge question has to do with the velocity and surface tension of the water as it spins. I still think centrifugal forces separates the water and air bubbles because of the difference in their masses. What do YOU think. Add your comments below!

**UPDATE 2** I used the wrong term to describe the force acting on the water due to the rotation of the anti-bubble. It is Centripetal force, not Centrifugal force.

Source: IO9

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