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Maths cracks beer froth mystery

Guinness DraughtMathematicians have come up with a formula that predicts how the head on a pint of beer will change after pouring.

"What happens in beer, is the small bubbles shrink, the big bubbles grow," Professor Srolovitz told BBC News.

"Eventually, the big bubbles pop - although they pop for slightly different reasons. On Earth, there's gravity and the liquid that's within the walls tends to drain out back into the beer. The walls get thinner and thinner and eventually they pop."

Their advance could shed light on why the foam on a pint of lager quickly disappears, but the froth on a pint of Guinness sticks around.

The research could not only provide tips for better brewing, but could also have applications in metallurgy, say the authors.

Source: BBC
Image: Neocorsten / Flickr
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Woohoo! I was waiting to see this blogged. I have Dr. Srolovitz as a teacher for a course this year and he was very excited about this.

That's great! So what's the next mystery he's planning to solve using maths?

Just got back from the Beeb site, where the story first appeared and.. hate to burst the good Doctor's bubble, but was anyone involved aware that Guinness and other stouts are dispensed with higher-pressure nitrous, not CO2? The difference has always been in the tap dispensation system or the widget in the can. Ooops!!

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