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On Monday we learned about a vulnerability in the encryption technology that effects most of the internet, called Heartbleed. Our team grabbed their lab coats and leaped into action to patch the vulnerability on our site.

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Wintergreen Lifesavers Soda Geyser

How to use Wintergreen Lifesavers to create a soda explosion

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You don’t have to shake a soda in order to produce a flowing, foaming, sticky mess. Just drop a roll of Wintergreen Lifesavers into a bottle of soda and run!

Materials
  • 2-liter bottle of regular Coke
  • 2-liter bottle of Diet Coke (no sugar means no sticky mess)
  • Roll of Wintergreen Lifesavers
  • Towel and/or a mop (This precaution will be self-explanatory in just a little while.)
Print Experiment

Experiment

  1. This activity is probably best done outside in the middle of an abandoned field, or better yet, on a huge lawn. Carefully open the bottle of regular soda. Position the bottle on the ground so that it will not tip over.
  2. Unwrap 6 of the Wintergreen Lifesavers and line them up in your hand in such a way that all 6 of them can be dropped into the bottle at the exact same time.
  3. Don’t drop them into the bottle just yet! Warn the spectators to stand back. OK, you’re going to drop all of the Lifesavers into the bottle at the same time and then get truckin’—i.e. move out of the way—so long—bye-bye—hasta la vista!
  4. It’s just like fireworks on the 4th of July. The spectators erupt, of course, in a chorus of ooohs and ahhhs. Someone yells out, “Do it again!” and you do.
  5. Repeat the experiment but this time with the diet soda. Does the fountain shoot higher? Does the soda erupt faster? Isn’t this so cool?

How Does It Work?

The reason why the soda erupts with such gusto has something to do with the tremendous number of nucleation sites on the porous Wintergreen Lifesavers. Remember that a nucleation site provides a place for bubbles of carbon dioxide gas to adhere. In this case, the nucleation sites are all over the surface of the breath mints. If enough carbon dioxide molecules gather in one place within a bottle of soda they form a bubble, but these bubbles cannot form without a place to adhere. In other words, the dissolved carbon dioxide gas molecules in the soda make a mad dash for the nucleation sites on the breath mints and form big bubbles that burst out of the liquid.

Additional Info

Want a bigger mess... a better eruption? See the Mentos Soda Explosion

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