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Soft Matter and Biological Physics

Eur. Phys. J. E 6, 255-258 (2001)

Independent variables in foam clusters

M.A. Fortes and P.I.C. Teixeira

Departamento de Engenharia de Materiais e Instituto de Ciência e Engenharia de Materiais e Superfícies, Instituto Superior Técnico, Avenida Rovisco Pais, P-1049-001 Lisboa, Portugal


(Received 31 May 2001 and Received in final form 12 September 2001)

We find, by counting the degrees of freedom of two-dimensional bubble clusters (finite or periodic) of given topology and bubble areas, that the Plateau laws determine a unique configuration of a finite free cluster, but allow an infinite number of configurations of a periodic cluster. Each of these configurations is associated with a particular strain (stress) state of the cluster; there is in general one unstrained configuration, which corresponds to the minimum of the (surface) energy. Configurations of given topology that satisfy Plateau's laws may only exist in certain ranges of bubble area ratios and/or strains.

83.80.Iz - Emulsions and foams.

© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, Springer-Verlag 2001