Bubble-raft model for a paraboloidal crystal

Mark J. Bowick, Luca Giomi, Homin Shin, Creighton K. Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


We investigate crystalline order on a two-dimensional paraboloid of revolution by assembling a single layer of millimeter-sized soap bubbles on the surface of a rotating liquid, thus extending the classic work of Bragg and Nye on planar soap bubble rafts. Topological constraints require crystalline configurations to contain a certain minimum number of topological defects such as disclinations or grain boundary scars whose structure is analyzed as a function of the aspect ratio of the paraboloid. We find the defect structure to agree with theoretical predictions and propose a mechanism for scar nucleation in the presence of large Gaussian curvature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number021602
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 27 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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