Mathematical Digest

Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics
in the Popular Press

"Bubble Trouble: It's taken 170 years, but now the problem is solved," by IanStewart. New Scientist, 25 March 2000, page 6.

Everyone has seen double soap bubbles. Mathematicians suspected for decadesthat this familiar shape is the most efficient possible, but rigorous proof ofthe fact remained elusive. A breakthrough came in 1995, when it was shown thatthis configuration is the most efficient for equal sized bubbles. This articledescribes a new result that proves that the same holds true for bubbles ofdifferent sizes.

--- Allyn Jackson