One of the great pleasures of the Christmas an New Year holidays is popping champagne corks with abandon.
Pick your target: Let’s see if we can get the cork on the neighbour’s roof, over the fence, in the pool.
A group of scientists (from France, of course) have given the physics of popping a champagne cork a real kicking.
They’ve put a lot of effort into their study to give us clues on how to get the loudest bang and get the fastest travelling cork.
Only 5 per cent of the energy released when a champagne cork is popped is transferred into the kinetic energy of the cork itself, the researchers found.
The rest of the energy apparently ends up in the shock wave, the satisfying big bang.
The authors at the Journal of Food Engineering also found that as the champagne bottle temperature increased so did the exit speed of the cork, as did the volume of CO2 gas emitted from the bottle.
So, if you want to win the distance prize, take a champagne bottle from the box, not the fridge. This will give an edge when it comes to velocity.
Here’s a series of photographs showing cork performance at different temperatures.
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