The Physics of Beer Suds May Help Explain Volcanic Eruptions

A group of scientists have researched the physics behind the popular beer prank called “tapping” and have discovered that the results might be helpful in explaining some of nature’s deadliest phenomena, reports LiveScience.

First things first: What is tapping? Imagine, you just opened a new bottle of beer. A “friend” takes it upon himself to tap the mouth of your bottle with the bottom of his. Sudsy mayhem ensues.

Using lasers to study this reaction, scientists have discovered that this mini-eruption is caused when the bottles’ collision creates waves. These waves, in turn, cause “parent bubbles” in the beer, which break into “daughter bubbles,” which then expand and make the brew overflow.

Similar reactions, the researchers have surmised, might be the cause for a number of natural occurrences, like a limnic eruption (or an incident in which CO2 bubbles up from within a lake causing water displacement) the most recent of which killed 1,700 people in Cameroon in 1986, as well as the standard volcanic eruption.

Score: Beer, 1. Volcanoes, 0. [LiveScience] [Photo: Flickr/gnuckx]