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You can’t stop a shaken beer can from fizzing over by tapping it, study finds, Ars Technica

You can’t stop a shaken beer can from fizzing over by tapping it, study finds, Ars Technica


      On the eighth day of Christmas –


The best strategy for a shaken beer can is just to wait for the fizz to settle




posted to the physics arXiv.

Beer is a surprisingly popular subfield of study for scientists. There was aIrish studybeer foam reduces sloshing of beer as it’s poured into a glass, as well as enhancing the flavor.Back in 2013, Javier Rodríguez-Rodríguez, a physicist at Carlos III University of Madrid, and several colleagues presented experimental and computer simulation findings of why beer cans foam up so much after being shaken, at a meeting of the American Physical Society’s Division of Fluid Dynamics. They connected that the foaming over stemmed from a series of waves.

“Actually, the laws of physics that control the development of these beer mushroom clouds are the same as [those that drive] the development of the cloud in an atomic bomb, “Rodriguez told NPR’s The Saltat the time. “Obviously, there’s no nuclear stuff in the beer. So the source of the explosion is very different, but the mushroom cloud that you see is very similar.”


Video by Javier Rodríguez-Rodríguez, Almudena Casado, and Daniel Fuster.


/The experimental setup: cans randomized to the shaking group were claimed onto a shaker in batches of three or four.

**************** Sopina et al / arXiv

Danish physicists tested 1000 cans of lager—for science!Over a thousand cans of lager were provided by Carlsberg Breweries A / S for the experiment, although some were excluded due to damage or errors in the experimental process. In the end, 1103 cans were successfully tested on a Friday in May of 2018. The cans were randomly assigned (using Microsoft Excel’s random number generator) to one of four groups: unshaken / untapped, unshaken / tapped, shaken / untapped, and shaken / tapped. Each can was shaken for two minutes using an industrial shaker, equivalent to what cans of beer would experience while being transported in a bicycle for ten minutes (a common means of delivering beer in Denmark).

Three teams then weighed the cans, and tapped (or did not tap, depending on the group in question) cans three times on the side with a single finger. Then they opened the cans, “absorbed any beer loss using paper towels,” and finally re-weighed the cans to determine beer loss. Initially, the participants opened the cans with their hands, but apparently this caused “finger and nail-bed pain,” so they were provided with stainless steel butter knives to open the remainder of the cans.

But the tapping of the cans was still done manually. The co-authors considered automating that process, too, but decided against it, since “the aim of the research was to determine if this effect would be observable in a realistic use case, not in an over-engineered laboratory setting.” (******************************************


However, one of the teams lost significantly less beer during the experiment than the others. “The most likely explanation for this is that, unlike other teams, Team 3 was exclusively comprised of engineers, who are known to go to great lengths for getting the last drop of beer. As for the leftover beer, it did go to waste: the researchers distributed the beer with snacks to university staff and students.

The best remedy to avoid excessive spillage is thus to wait for the excess bubbles to settle before opening the can. The authors suggest (one assumes with with tongue firmly in cheek) that their findings might discourage the practice of tapping the cans, thus avoiding “tapping-related finger injuries (eg, damaged tendons, ligaments, repetitive strain disorder)” – apparently a genuine concern, if (a) ************************************************************** (study

The strategy of waiting, rather than tapping, could also be an advantage for those prone to over-indulge in beer, encouraging beer enthusiasts to slow down in order to waste less beer. “Our study suggests that one whole can of beer can be preserved by allowing approximately 90 shaken cans to settle, “the authors wrote. “Post-secondary students, economists, and other frugal beer enthusiasts are likely to find satisfaction in this fact.”

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