This story came across my Google alerts today from the crack team at ABC News… “Science of Mentos-Diet Coke Explosions Explained.” My fingers couldn’t click on the link fast enough. New research finally explains this amazing phenomenon? Here’s the opening sentence of the story…
The startling reaction between Diet Coke and Mentos sweets, made famous in thousands of YouTube videos, finally has a scientific explanation. A study in the US has identified the prime factors that drive the fizzy plumes from Coke bottles: the roughness of the sweet and how fast it plummets to the bottle’s base.
What… this is the big discovery? The Mentos chewy mints have a rough surface and they’re heavy? Well, they’re absolutely correct and they confirmed the original Mentos Eruption explanation published back in 2005. Tonya Coffey, a physicist at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina said, “This was a good project for my students to study because there was still some mystery to it.” Hats off to Coffey and her students for publishing her findings and bringing peer review to the Mentos Geyser experiment.
However, it was nice to have someone else confirm our findings that either fruit or mint Mentos work equally well. “The results showed that Diet Coke created the most spectacular explosions with either fruit or mint Mentos, the fountains travelling a horizontal distance of up to 7 metres.”
It was probably most fun to read the comments on the ABC News blog. What questions or “mysteries” about the Mentos reaction would you like to ask?