Skip to main content

Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin

Menu Search

You are here Research > Research Groups > Foams & Complex Systems > Introduction to Foams

Introduction to Foams

Plateau’s Rules

The Belgian scientist Joseph Plateau (above) made painstaking observations of soap films in wire frames. From these observations (and his own intuition) he developed a set of rules which govern the equilibrium of soap films and foams:

  • Three soap films meet at angles of 120 degrees.
  • The films form a curved triangular channel known as a Plateau border.
  • Four Plateau borders meet at angles of 109.6 degrees to form a vertex.