The Science of Beer Bubbles

The beauty of beer.

Written by Jamie Condliffe for

Booze is prime territory for the appliance of science. But while we normally use biology to explain bad hangovers or chemistry to create new cocktails, there’s plenty of science lurking within your humble glass of beer, too.

In fact, the UK’s Institute of Physics has launched a Christmas website based on beer, to help explain some of the more peculiar scientific phenomena hidden in your ale. Like, for instance, why the bubbles in your pint of stout fall instead of rising:

As your pint of stout settles, the bubbles in the centre of the glass (where you can’t see them) ARE rising to the surface, but at the same time the bubbles touching the wall of the glass experience some drag which prevents them from floating upwards.

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