Simulation of a Soap Film Möbius Strip Transformation

Yongsam Kim, Ming-Chih Lai, Yunchang Seol*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


If the closed wire frame of a soap film having the shape of a Möbius strip is pulled apart and gradually deformed into a planar circle, the soap film transforms into a two-sided orientable surface. In the presence of a finite-time twist singularity, which changes the linking number of the film's Plateau border and the centreline of the wire, the topological transformation involves the collapse of the film toward the wire. In contrast to experimental studies of this process reported elsewhere, we use a numerical approach based on the immersed boundary method, which treats the soap film as a massless membrane in a Navier-Stokes fluid. In addition to known effects, we discover vibrating motions of the film arising after the topological change is completed, similar to the vibration of a circular membrane.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)615-628
Number of pages14
JournalEast Asian Journal on Applied Mathematics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2017


  • Möbius strip
  • Navier-Stokes equation
  • immersed boundary method
  • minimal surface
  • topological change
  • twist singularity

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