"I think people like me have been waiting for this development for quite a while," Weaire told LiveScience.
Bubbles and foams are created by trapping air pockets in liquids, and are dependent on a fluid property called surface tension. High surface tension is what enables a paperclip to float on the surface of water rather than being submerged.
When water flows from a tap, small bubbles are formed but pop very quickly. This is because the surface tension of water is high, so the bubbles develop very thin membranes, which cause them to easily rupture.
Surface active substances, or surfactants, are organic compounds that stick to the surface of water, which lowers the surface tension and stabilizes bubbles. Soap and dishwasher fluid are examples of materials containing surfactants, which explains why soapy water can create big clusters of bubbles, while normal water cannot.
Weaire said the new equations will help physicists study so-called unstable foams, in which various factors, such as gravity, cause fluids to drain through the bubbles' membranes, which eventually makes them burst.