Monday, September 10, 2012

Candy Physics Is My New Favorite Branch Of Science - The Frisky


Candy Corn Oreos

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Finally a team of physicists has devoted the proper time and effort to answering the age old question, “Is it better to bite into a round piece of candy, or continually suck on it?” In a paper poetically titled, “Sticky physics of joy: On the dissolution of spherical candies,” researchers from the University of Graz in Austria described the results of an experiment in which they placed spherical candies in a water bath made to replicate the pH levels and movement of a human mouth and observed the way they dissolved over time. The researchers expected the candy to vanish exponentially, but their findings indicated that the candies dissolved at a constant linear rate instead. What does this mean for candy enthusiasts?

Well, if you want to enjoy your round candies longer, keep on sucking and resist the urge to bite: breaking your candy into smaller pieces will create more surface area, which will speed up the dissolution process. And don’t worryâ€"this study wasn’t funded by millions in government grants. “It was more like a Sunday afternoon project,” says lead researcher Andreas Windisch. “When we got the results, we decided to put it into a paper and send a draft to a educational journal to use it as a nice example for school classes.” Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go apply the principles of candy physics to a box of Whoppers. [NPR]

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