I was in my class 6 or class 7. My Appa, Amma, brother and I had come to Bombay for meeting up with our relatives.
My Appa is the official Pied Piper of the family. All kids follow him everywhere and he had or rather still has the confidence in himself to handle a battalion of kids all by himself, so much so that he is ready to take all of them out as well.
Something, I will never have the guts to do.
Anyways, so my two cousin sisters, one of them older to me (Preethi of IMC fame) and her younger sister, who is about 3 years younger to me, my brother and I all accompanied my Appa to some place he told us he will take.
Before that it was really hot in the month of May and Coca cola had just launched itself in India. We had never tasted any black drink (I think we used to get only Thumbs Up then) and so Appa decided to indulge us in one drink each.
My younger cousin D was very fascinated by the fact that the bottle had bubbles in it. you know the fizz of the soda in the cola.
When Appa stood up from the small udipi to pay for the soft drink, Cousin D decided to be a bit experimental. She looked around to see if our elder siblings were distracted, they were.
So she winked at me, and then shook the bottle vigorously like she had seen someone do it in a movie or something. And guess what. All the cola started flowing out.
‘Stop Stop dont come out’ she shouted loudly to the cola bottle as we all saw in horror the precious cola getting out of the bottle.
Stop Stop I joined in, trying to put in the flowing bubbles and cola with my hands back to the bottle.
My brother and Preethi were sitting there laughing their guts out while Appa came running back.
By now, the entire Udipi was staring at the sister duo trying to put the cola ‘back’ into the bottle and having the laughs of their lives.
Appa quickly picked up the bottle, tilted it slightly and then asked us to stop shaking it so much. In about 2 seconds, all the bubbles stopped flowing and the remaining liquid settled down.
Wow, thats magic said my then-little cousin.
Nope its science said Appa.
Ah! the scientist in him was all awakened.
He explained to us about the presence of carbon dioxide in the drink
But Appa, said the impatient me, the carbon dioxide is the air we breathe out, not breathe in. Isnt that bad for our health?
Exactly why you should try and avoid aerated drinks said Appa with a smile.
And then, so the drink contains Carbon Dioxide molecules. and then when you open the sealed lid, you get that ‘pop’ which means the excess Carbon Dioxide has released into the atmosphere. There is still carbon dioxide inside the liquid. When you are shaking the bottle, it provides more surface area for the gas to bubble and come out. Like you have seen all these race drivers at the podium do *Winks at my cousin D*. Shake the champagne bottle and release the CO2 bubbles.
There is a large amount of gas coming out all at once in the form of micro bubbles from inside the liquid of the bottle and since the bottle is narrower at the neck, there is a traffic jam and liquid is not able to separate and remain inside but comes with the gas out of the bottle.
How did you stop it Perippa? asked my cousin
Well, I didnt really do anything. Once the excess energy got dissipated, the foam stopped automatically.
So no magic eh? asked my brother.
None at all, its just pure science said Appa 🙂
And went ahead to buy another bottle of coca cola for the sisters who tried to get the cola back into the bottle 🙂
This has been written in response to Tulika’s My Science Story Blogfest.