Isabelle Cantat : Selected for the Churchill College Mobility Program - University of Cambridge

Our colleague, head of the Soft Matter Department, will be working in Churchill College, Cambridge

"Liquid foams are complex fluids that age and destabilize. To understand the origin of their fragility, hydrodynamic experiments on the scale of a few soap bubbles are being developed in the Soft Matter department of the Institute of Physics of Rennes, in order to better understand the role of surfactants in the observed flows. The goal is to make progress in understanding the stability and rheology of liquid foams."


In a low liquid fraction foam, bubbles are in contact along thin liquid films, stabilized by the presence of surfactants. The liquid phase is distributed in these films and in a network of menisci, located at the intersection of the films. The bubble lifetime, which is the critical parameter for most industrial applications of foams, is strongly influenced by the capillary suction of the meniscus, and by the resulting thinning dynamics of the film, which is still only partially understood.
In particular, an instability known as marginal regeneration produces regular patterns at the edges of soap films that have not yet revealed all their secrets. The Department of Applied Math and Theoretical Physics at Cambridge offers an excellent scientific environment in fluid mechanics and will allow Isabelle Cantat to expose herself to this new environment and to approach the theoretical study of this instability with original tools, during the first quarter of 2023, as a French Government Fellow at Churchill College, Cambridge.

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