Double Soap Bubble

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The double bubble, or double soap bubble, geometry has long posed a fascinating mathematical challenge: which shape for the surface of a double bubble encloses volume most efficiently?

When a double soap bubble forms, it consists of two spheres that intersect, with a soap film separating the chambers on each side. This separating wall connects with the surface of each sphere at a 120-degree angle. If the two spheres have equal size, then the separating film has the shape of a flat disk. If one sphere is larger, then the separating wall bulges into the larger space enclosed by the larger sphere.

The question of which geometric shape for a co-equal double bubbles maximizes the internal volume baffled mathematicians for decades until it was finally solved in 2002. [1]

References

  1. http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/3062123?uid=2&uid=4&sid=21102047941861
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