01 June 2012

Another great landmark in science

Phenomenica  reports on a scientific breakthrough that will truly change the way we think. For centuries the philosopher prince has stared at his pint of stout and wondered why on earth do some bubbles go down towards the bottom of the glass instead of upwards to the light.

This conndrum has now been solved in a new study, mathematicians and it sems to be due to the glass.

Many stout beers contain nitrogen as well as the carbon dioxide that is present in all beers. Since nitrogen is less likely to dissolve in liquid, that results in smaller and longer-lasting bubbles. But it is the sinking bubble that has confounded the world's greatest minds

Now the University of Limerick’s William Lee, Eugene Benilov and Cathal Cummins have discovered the simple answer to the problem – and a test that can be carried out by consumers as well.

The team had the idea  that the relative density of bubbles and the surrounding liquid could be behind the phenomenon. “If you imagine your pint is full of bubbles, then the bubbles will start to rise... “Because of the sloping wall of the pint, the bubbles are moving away from the wall, which means you’re getting a much denser region next to the wall. That is going to sink under its own gravity, because it’s less buoyant, and that sinking fluid will pull the bubbles down...You’ll see sinking bubbles not because the bubbles themselves are sinking, but because the fluid is and it’s pulling them down with it,”

The same flow pattern occurs with other beers such as lagers, but the larger bubbles of carbon dioxide are less subject to that drag.
Cummins carried out calculations using a simulated pint and “anti-pint” – that is, the upside-down version of a pint glass – showing the effect at work; in the anti-pint, the bubbles rise as expected.

Well there you have it once more. Truly a wonderful discovery. I am a bit oworried by the concept of the Anti-pint. I wonder if it will cost £6.66


Kay Dennison said...

I'm pretty much against the anti-pint.

jams o donnell said...

It is evil and must be destroyed!

SnoopyTheGoon said...

It's a real wow discovery. I hope the university had the courtesy to pay for the beers involved.

As for anti-pint: I guess it will be the one where you get paid for drinking it. Finally justice will reign.

jams o donnell said...

I'm sure it came under a grant provision! as for teh anti pint I think American Budweiser, Corona, Coors and several others are candidates for the true anti pint!

Kay Dennison said...

I agree, Weirdly, Bud gives me a headache after 1/3 of a bottle. Needless to say, I won't drink it or any of the others you listed.

My fav's are not American beer. I like Negro Modelo (Mexican) and Labatts' (Canadian) mostly.

jams o donnell said...

Personally I've found all mainstream american beers to be unpleasant. The same goes for your chocolate.

Never had Negro Modelo but I've foud mexican beers I've tried to be even worse than American ones

Kay Dennison said...

I tend to prefer dark beers (blame my German grandparents) and Negro Modelo is pretty good.

I'm a chocoholic and am blessed to live in an area where we have some excellent local Chocolatiers but they tend to be pricey. Then again, I have a champagne appetite and a beer budget! LOL

My German immigrant grandpa liked Heineken but I suspect that was a result of it being one of the few
German beers available to him in at the turn of the 20th century when he emigrated. I know he missed real German beer.

jams o donnell said...

I wonder if it is available anywhere in the UK. AH your grandfather liked a Dutch beer. Still close enough to Germany!

As for chocs I know what you mean. A lot of popular chocs don't do much for me either. Not that Cadburys is bad, there's just better. Like you I suffer from the same budgetary restriction!