Surface activity and bubble motion

  • J. F. Harper
Conference paper


This paper reviews recent progress in the theories of the surface boundary conditions of adsorbed solutes in liquids, and of the effects of those solutes on the steady motion of a bubble or drop in the liquid. Both singular perturbation theory and numerical solutions have useful roles in this problem, and their relationship is explored. In addition, analytical solutions are given to two problems concerning a spherical bubble rising steadily at low Reynolds number in a viscous fluid. One of these is displacement of the internal vortex centre from its position in the absence of surface activity when there is a small stagnant cap of surfactant at the rear. The results agree with experimental data in the direction of that displacement but give only about half its amount. The other problem is the velocity perturbation all round the surface caused by a very dilute solution of a weak surfactant at high Péclet number. This compares quite well with the numerical solution for a Péclet number of 60, having relative errors of order (60)−1/2 as would be expected.


Stagnation Point Velocity Perturbation Surface Boundary Condition Spherical Bubble Bubble Motion 
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Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, The Hague 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. F. Harper
    • 1
  1. 1.Mathematics DepartmentVictoria University of WellingtonWellingtonNew Zealand

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