Friday, September 23, 2005

Food Yields Its Mysteries to Physics

Some people think that basic science has no relevance in daily life. Not so! Scientists have found the solutions to a number of food puzzles can be solved by basic physics and chemistry. On the flip side, solving these mysteries can have implications far beyond eating dinner.

The most recent example is an explanation of the Cheerios Effect, or why floating objects tend to clump together. As noted in the article:
A better understanding of the Cheerio Effect could give scientists a clearer insight into how certain insects walk on water and could lead to the creation of micro-structures that use surface tension to assemble themselves.
Other examples of the food-physics interface:

Why spaghetti breaks into three or more pieces
Why toast lands butter-side down (photographic evidence)

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