Tuesday, February 10, 2015
Breaking news: Scientists discover why popcorn pops
Study unravels physics of kernel – water contained in the shell rapidly escapes as steam under heat, making the corn ‘pop’—The Guardian
by Larry Geller
Tired of all the bad news? Check out this important breakthrough. Scientists discovered stuff like:
Using a high-speed camera, which took 2,900 frames per second, the researchers also show that the kernel is propelled into the air by a “leg” of expanding starch. Previously, scientists had speculated that escaping steam might boost the kernel upwards in a “rocket” effect. But in a freeze-frame analysis, the researchers show the dynamics of a jumping piece of popcorn are similar to an acrobat performing a somersault.
[The Guardian (UK), Scientists now know why popcorns pop, 2/10/2015]
Now that this is completely understood, I’m going to fire up the hot-air popper and make myself some right now.