The object of the paper was to find the forces acting in bubble rafts and to use them for a description of the mechanical properties of these rafts. The first section is based entirely on Nicolson's work and gives expressions for the cohesive forces in the lattice. The second and third sections deal with the repulsive forces arising when a bubble is compressed uniaxially, and are really the basis of the paper. The fourth section introduces the idea of ‘interaction’ between compressions in the three close-packed directions—a conception which explains the breakdown of Cauchy's relations. The conditions of equilibrium in the lattice are investigated in § 5, and in § 6 all these forces are combined to give a complete account of the elastic properties of the rafts.
The remaining section gives a brief account of the experimental checks of the theory; it appears to be a reasonable approximation for small bubbles, and, indeed, we could certainly not expect it to apply to large ones, since for them not only are all the calculations of the attractive potentials invalid because of the large local slopes of the surface, but also the ‘flats’ and ‘caps’ become so large as to interfere with one another.
The forces are considered well enough supported to justify their further use in an investigation of the plastic behaviour of the bubble rafts—an investigation which has explained several interesting experimental facts but brought us little nearer an understanding of the low yield strains of metallic single crystals (see (2)).