‘Soap Films: An Analogue Computer’ reprinted in American Scientist Centenary Edition

The journal ‘American Scientist’ is celebrating its centenary this month and to mark the occasion it has produced a commemorative issue in which a selection of popular articles from the past 100 years has been reprinted. Among these is a 1976 paper entitled ‘Soap Films: An Analogue Computer’ by Cyril Isenberg, now an honorary member of staff in the School of Engineering and Digital Arts.
In his paper Dr. Isenberg showed how the properties of soap films allow them to be used to solve both two-dimensional and three-dimensional distance and area problems, some of which lacked non-digital mathematical solutions at the time of the article.
Dr. Isenberg based his article on a popular lecture-demonstration given during his visit to American universities and he still gives his soap-film demonstrations to audiences that range from school children to members of learned societies. In 2008, Queen Elizabeth II made him a member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for his contributions to physics.