February 20, 2024

Scientists discover why peanuts “dance” in beer | Sciences

Peanuts “dance” when they fall into the beer – Image: Pexels / Engin Akyurt

When a peanut is placed in a glass of beer, this legume sinks to the bottom, but then rises again and begins a “dance” that has baffled the most inveterate scientists.

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This great mystery was solved thanks to the commitment of a Brazilian scholar who was passing through Buenos Aires to learn Spanish.

Their study, published on Tuesday (13), may have implications for some mineral extraction processes or for the behavior of Earth’s magmas.

Brazilian researcher Luiz Pereira, lead author of the study, told AFP he was surprised to find that waiters in Buenos Aires put peanuts in beer.

The peanut weighs more than the liquid around it, so it naturally sinks to the bottom. But soon after, it rises again and begins to oscillate, a phenomenon that can continue until the beer loses its gas.

This phenomenon is explained because the peanuts attract and hold tiny bubbles of carbon dioxide that carbonate the beer.

These bubbles cause the peanut to rise. On contact with air, it explodes, and the process repeats.

“Bubbles form better around the peanut than they do on the walls of a glass,” explained Pereira, a researcher at Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich, Germany.

His team of international physicists (with specialists from Germany, the UK and France) discovered that the greater the angle between the surface of the peanut and the bubble, the faster the bubble will form.

But the key is not to let the bubble get too big, at most about 1.3mm.

As the experiment progresses, as long as the customer does not drink beer or eat peanuts, it can be seen that the process repeats itself as long as the carbonation continues.

A similar process occurs, according to the study published in the journal Open Science of the Royal Society, when air is injected to separate the iron and capture it from the metal it holds.

“Iron is easily attached to bubbles, while other minerals fall to the bottom,” the text explains.

The same thing happens with magnetite, which manages to rise to the upper layers of magma in the earth’s crust, although it is much denser.

The researchers believe that because of the angle of contact with the gas bubbles, the metal “relapses” and rises again.

For the sake of science, Pereira explained, scientists will continue to “experiment with the properties of different types of peanuts and beer.”

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