I’m pretty sure these guys got a grant to sit in pubs drinking beer.

The physics of dancing peanuts in beer
In Argentina, some people add peanuts to their beer. Once immersed, the peanuts initially sink part way down into the beer before bubbles nucleate and grow on the peanut surfaces and remain attached. The peanuts move up and down within the beer glass in many repeating cycles. In this work, we propose a physical description of this dancing peanuts spectacle. We break down the problem into component physical phenomena, providing empirical constraint of each: (i) heterogeneous bubble nucleation occurs on peanut surfaces and this is energetically preferential to nucleation on the beer glass surfaces; (ii) peanuts enshrouded in attached bubbles are positively buoyant in beer above a critical attached gas volume; (iii) at the beer top surface, bubbles detach and pop, facilitated by peanut rotations and rearrangements; (iv) peanuts containing fewer bubbles are then negatively buoyant in beer and sink; and (v) the process repeats so long as the beer remains sufficiently supersaturated in the gas phase for continued nucleation.

I wonder how many beers it took for them to think of actually getting a grant for this. And I’d dearly love to read the grant application.

Of course…

Therefore, we close by proposing that this study has heritage and that the observation of bubble dynamics in beer is a rich topic, worth repeated investigation.

… many more experiments are required.

Hey, guys could use another “lab tech”? I’ll work for beer.


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2A advocate, writer, firearms policy & law analyst, general observer of pre-apocalyptic American life.

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