Science reveals why champagne bubbles rise in a straight line and beer bubbles don’t

One of the most frequent sounds of any celebration is the uncorking of a bottle of champagne. With a certain proportion of sugar, this sparkling wine is characterized not only by its golden color, but also by how bubbly it is. You might think that the latter is not characteristic, as it occurs in other drinks such as soft drinks, beer or sparkling water. However, one study shows that Champagne bubbles don’t rise the same way than any other liquid.

Pour a glass of champagne and the bubbles will get bigger and faster as they rise. “This is research I have been working on for years.“, says Roberto Zenit, professor at Brown University (USA), one of the authors of the article As it is a French drink how can it be Researchers from the University of Toulouse (France) also participated.

While this may seem like an innocuous invention, the truth is that the way champagne bubbles rise can have an impact on our daily lives, as Zenit themselves warn: “We want to show people that. Fluid mechanics is important in your daily life“.

[El truco de la cuchara en la botella para que no se escapen las burbujas: ¿mito o realidad?]

In fact, the main purpose of the research is that it is published magazine Physical examination fluids, How bubbles behave in various carbonated beverages should be studied. to check, Decided to remove carbonation from champagne, beer, sparkling wine and carbonated water.

Bubbles in a straight line

Depending on the ingredients in the drink, the movement of the bubbles may vary. For example, bubbles in beer are deflected sideways, making it appear as if several bubbles are rising at the same time. On the contrary, A glass of champagne bubbles up in single file And for a long time. It is a constant chain of bubbles unlike beer.

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Taking both motions into account, the researchers looked at the dynamics that make some bubbles more stable than others. They even wondered if they could turn a stable chain of bubbles into something that doesn’t exist and recreate it.

The results of the tests showed consistent bubble chains in champagne and other sparkling wines. are due to surfactants, some molecules also present in detergents. By sticking to the bubbles, these molecules make it easier for the bubbles to rise. “The protein molecules that give champagne its unique flavor stabilize the chains of bubbles they produce,” Zenit says.

They also found that in the experiment The stability of the bubbles is affected by their own size. When they increased the size of the bubbles, they were able to stabilize unstable bubble chains even without surfactants. They found that when they kept a constant bubble size and only added surfactants, they could go from unstable to stable chains.

Thus, the authors concluded that there are Two different ways to stabilize a chain of bubbles. On the one hand, by making the bubbles bigger. Or if not, surfactants, also known as surfactants, can be added to the drink.

Certain types of beer contain similar molecules that create the same movement of bubbles as champagne. On the contrary, Carbonated water bubbles are always unstable, There are no other types of molecules that support this type of flow. “In this case, instead of a single line, the bubbles rise in the form of a cone,” says the professor of the American University.

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What is this for?

According to the researchers, the results of the latest study go beyond the appearance of a person with all kinds of knowledge when a toast with champagne is prepared at a celebration. As they point out, The findings provide a general framework in fluid dynamics To understand the formation of aggregates in bubbly flows.

This process only happens every time we serve a glass of champagne. Water treatment facilities include technologies that use bubble-induced mixing, such as aeration tanks. Those responsible for these facilities would benefit from a clearer understanding of how bubbles are distributed in space.

In nature, understanding these flows Help explain ocean spills better This includes methane and carbon dioxide rising from the ocean floor. These findings could also be applied to other non-carbonated beverages such as whiskey. That’s right, someone can estimate the alcohol content by shaking the bottle and seeing how the bubbles respond.

For their part, the researchers plan to continue studying the dynamics of stable bubble chains, trying to apply it to different aspects of fluid dynamics, especially bubbly flows. “We are curious to know how these bubbles move and industrial applications and its relationship with nature”, Zenit concludes.

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