MadSci Network: Chemistry

Re: Why do some soda cans sink while others float?

Date: Tue Jun 1 14:05:53 1999
Posted By: Dan Berger, MadSci Admin
Area of science: Chemistry
ID: 928255131.Ch

The difference between (normal, as opposed to diet) sodas -- some
floating while others sink -- will be entirely due to the proportion of sugar
in the soda. At a certain percentage of dissolved sugar, the density of
a sealed can of soda will become great enough for it to sink in water.
Other ingredients are present in amounts too small to matter.

Actually your question comes as a surprise. I knew regular Coke sinks, and
assumed that all sugared soda would do the same.

Diet soda floats because it is mostly carbonated water (the carbonation helps
reduce the density); there is much less sweetener (by weight) because
aspartame is much sweeter than sugar, gram-for-gram.

                                       Dan Berger
                                       MadSci Administrator

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