2020 Small World in Motion Competition

Oil droplets on a soap film

Karl Gaff

Dublin, Ireland
Reflected Light
4X (Objective Lens Magnification)

This movie shows lipid islands of soap floating on a very thin film of water. The film on which the soap floats is so thin that it does not interfere with the light hitting it, therefore allowing the light to pass through. This creates an appearance of a black abyss. The biggest challenge in creating a movie such as this is finding the ideal ratio between the soap and the liquid substrate, which is a precise formula of water and sugar to give it the correct viscosity. If too much sugar is used, the water will become too viscous and to remain invisible, but if not enough is used, the soap will break up too quickly.