Paris, 16 December 2013

Soap bubbles for predicting cyclone intensity ?

Could soap bubbles be used to predict the strength of hurricanes and typhoons? However unexpected it may sound, this question prompted physicists at the Laboratoire Ondes et Matière d'Aquitaine (CNRS/université de Bordeaux) to perform a highly novel experiment: they used soap bubbles to model atmospheric flow. A detailed study of the rotation rates of the bubble vortices enabled the scientists to obtain a relationship that accurately describes the evolution of their intensity, and propose a simple model to predict that of tropical cyclones. The work, carried out in collaboration with researchers from the Institut de Mathématiques de Bordeaux (CNRS/université de Bordeaux/Institut Polytechnique de Bordeaux) and a team from Université de la Réunion, has just been published in the journal Nature Scientific Reports.

To download the press release : Bulles de savon


Intensity of vortices: from soap bubbles to Hurricanes, T. Meuel, Y. L. Xiong, P. Fischer, C. H. Bruneau, M. Bessafi & H. Kellay, Nature Scientific Reports, Article number: 3455 DOI: 10.1038/srep03455, 13 December 2013. View web site


CNRS researcher l Hamid Kellay l T +33 5 40 00 65 11/
+33 6 43 36 36 26 l

CNRS Press Office l Laetitia Louis l T +33 1 44 96 51 37 l


Latest press releases

All disciplines

Back to homepageContactcredits