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An example of branching in a variational problemIn an experiment in space it was found that when a cubical frame was slowly withdrawn from a soap solution, the wire frame retained practically a full cube of liquid. Removed from the frame (by shaking), the faces of the cube became progressively more concave, until adjacent faces became tangential. In the present paper a mathematical model describing the shape a liquid takes due to its surface tension while suspended on a wire frame in zero-g is solved by use of Lagrange multipliers. It is shown how the configuration of soap films so bounded is dependent upon the volume of liquid trapped in the films. A special case of the solution is a soap film naturally formed on a cubical wire frame.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
External Source(s)
Darbro, W. (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, Ala., United States)
Date Acquired
August 9, 2013
Publication Date
November 1, 1978
Publication Information
Publication: American Journal of Physics
Volume: 46
Subject Category
Distribution Limits