I was washing the dishes when I noticed that the bubbles in a splodge of soapy water on the counter had a very regular structure. The bubbles, all small and identical in size, had arranged themselves in patches of hexagonal lattices, very like a single sheet of graphite. Even when individual bubbles burst, the lattices held their shape. The bubbles did not touch as there was water between them, so how did this structure come about?
As an addendum to your earlier answer on bubble shapes, readers may like to know that floating rafts of soap bubbles on a dish of water were used by Nobel prize-winning physicist Lawrence Bragg and colleague John Nye in 1947 to simulate the packing of atoms in metallic crystals. Defects caused by missing atoms were simulated by simply popping one of the bubbles.
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