Engineering Question #207

Umit Koseoglu, a 11 year old male from the Internet asks on October 17, 2001,

Is it possible to make a soap bubble that you can get inside?

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The answer

Barry Shell answered on October 17, 2001

David Stein of New York holds the Guiness Book of Records record for the biggest bubble (50 feet) and he often gets asked by kids if you can make a bubble you can get into. Here's his answer from his BubbleThing website:

"Kids are always asking me [if you can get inside a bubble]. Actually, Sports Illustrated hired me once to put a famous basketball star in a bubble. (At least create the illusion.) They hired a high-speed photpgrapher shooting at a half millionth of a second. We set up a diving board in his studio (to bounce the basketball player up in the air), and a foam crash pad (for him to land on) and some big fans (to help blow the bubble). And I custom-built an especially large Bubble Thing so he could dive through the loop. Then we rehearsed three days with second-string players, and the whole six-man crew trucked the equipment down to Virginia and worked three days with the basketball star. But in the contact prints, he was always snarling. So we drove up to Pennsylvania and put another basketball star in a bubble. That one photograph cost $60,000!

You can put your arm inside a bubble without popping it. The trick is to wet your arm first. So, in theory at least, you could jump from a tub and walk (gently) inside a bubble, and then jump your legs up, and there you'd be, momentarily floating in a bubble, an age-old dream of the human race! (I'm only recommending this for crazed adults, and you're at your own risk.)"

More about huge bubbles at You can get David Stein's book at as well as his Bubble Thing from his website.

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