Friday, June 23, 2006

Back Garden Experiment

Following on from my Serious science experiment post from a few days ago, the Muirs decided to have a go at this experiment (on a much smaller scale) for themselves.

So in honour of daughter number three's birthday, we bought the equipment, set it up in the back garden and without telling the girls what we were up to, set it off. The results were captured on video... well almost. Since daughter number two, who was doing the filming, didn't know what to expect, the top of the "experiment" was cut off. However, I think it's clear from the reactions just how successful it was.

Enjoy! :-)

Muirs Coke Experiment 1

P.S. Still playing with blogging directly with Flock. I was well impressed with the spell checker in Flock. Much smarter than the one built into Blogger... and it has a UK English dictionary. Hooray! It was almost what I needed to tip me over into being a Flockr rather than a Firefoxr. However, I discovered that the spell checker is available as an extension for Firefox and is called SpellBound. It took a bit of fiddling to get it to work with the latest version of Firefox, but it's working now.

So for the moment, I'm still using Firefox and still just playing with Flock. :-)

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john said...

Very cool David,
I might try that as an end of term trick, do you need mentos, or can you use other mints? These are important things to know.
Have you tried performancing firefox for blogging, quite nice. Used along side CoLT which allows you to copy a link's text and URL as a tag. I am still welded to Safari, c'ause of the built in spellcheck and Stand seems to do the same as CoLT.

David said...

It should work with most smoothish, sugary sweets but more or less everyone agrees Mentos are the best. Also it seems that Diet Coke is gassier than ordinarry Coke and has the added bonus of not being as sticky when it dries. :-)

Aparently the scientific community (and this time I'm talking about real scientists) are unsure exactly why Mentos work best. I've heard at least two different explanations:

1) They are slightly floury which helps with the formation of bubbles;

2) Although they look smooth, they are covered in tiny cracks that are just the right size to help bubbles form.

The Eepybird site in the other post has some science stuff and some details of how to do it. I used the paper tube method with a bit of card that was slid away to let them fall in. Another technique I'd like to try though is drilling a hole in the bottle lid and treading some Mentos onto an unfankled paper clip. It seems you can only fit about three in the gap between the top of the coke and the lid, but because the coke is forced out through a smaller hole, the effect is just as good or better.

Thanks for the links - I'll have a play with them soon.

struan said...

Coooool! Just about to go on a study tour with a bunch of other chemists, so am taking a copy of the (serious) video to show them. You are a cool Dad!

Duncan__ said...

So that's stage 1, David. Now we want to see the 21-bottle version, fully co-ordinated in surround-sound. :-)
Seriously -- well done!

David said...

Struan says:
"You are a cool Dad!"

Thank you Struan. Can I show this comment to my children - I'm not sure they would always agree with you. :-)

Make sure you let us know the chemistry behind what happens once your study tour people have worked it out. Which begs the question... what do chemists go on tour to study?

David said...

Thanks Duncan. The syncho-sploosh version is obviously our summer project. :-)

Jeremy said...

Cool - but some way to go before you can tackle the show at YouTube.
Must be the use of Diet Coke????