MadSci Network: Physics

Re: Soda Cans Floating Vertiically

Date: Sat Jul 14 03:19:42 2001
Posted By: Vernon Nemitz, , NONE, NONE
Area of science: Physics
ID: 995036785.Ph

Greetings, Jim:

Part of the explanation has to do with the temperature of the water.
Another part has to do with the fact that soda pop contains quite a
bit of dissolved carbon dioxide.  And the last part is the fact that
cold water can contain more dissolved gas than can warm water.

So, when the ice first melted, it was still quite cold, and so also
was the temperature of the canned soda, complete with dissolved
carbon dioxide.  There was ONLY liquid in the cans, and no carbon
dioxide in the gaseous state.  Overnight, however, the melted ice
warmed up most of the way to room temperature, and so of course also
did the canned soda warm up....

Well, since warmer water is able to hold less dissolved gas than
colder water,  some of the carbon dioxide began
to UNdissolve, and form small pockets of actual gas.

And since gases are lighter than water, the cans reoriented,
with the trapped gas rising as much as it could.

For proof, start with one cold soda can and one warm soda can.  Make
sure they have both been unshaken for a fair amount of time, and open
them gently.  When you first break the seal on the warm can, you will
hear an extended hiss as the  escapes.  But when you
open the cold can, the hiss will be rather muted, in comparison.
Most of the gas in that can is still dissolved in the liquid!

Current Queue | Current Queue for Physics | Physics archives

Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Physics.

MadSci Home | Information | Search | Random Knowledge Generator | MadSci Archives | Mad Library | MAD Labs | MAD FAQs | Ask a ? | Join Us! | Help Support MadSci

MadSci Network,
© 1995-2001. All rights reserved.