Saturday, February 13, 2010

Does Soda Go Flat Faster When It's Warm?

My husband and I have had an ongoing debate. It drives him crazy, that I leave opened cans of pop on the counter, when they still have pop in them. He always puts his back into the fridge, and maintains they don't go flat as fast that way.

I've always thought that was kind of silly. An open can of soda goes flat no matter what the temperature, and if I put in the fridge, I'll just forget it's there, and won't get to it until it's really flat. But, it turns out, there may be some scientific merit to my husband's argument.

While researching another experiment for the children, also having to do with pop, I read that the carbon dioxide gas, which is what gives soda it's fizz, dissolves easier into a cold liquid, than into a warm liquid. That means, that if the pop is warm, it would more easily release the carbon dioxide, and would go flat faster.

The children and I decided we needed to test the theory with some Mentos. :) We used 8oz bottles of Coke Zero, and only one Mento for each bottle, so we didn't end up with the great big geyser effect you sometimes see.

But, it was enough to test the theory. We hypothesized, that a cold bottle of pop would show less of a reaction than a warm bottle of pop, because the warm pop would more easily release the carbon dioxide to react with the Mentos (just like the with the Pop Rocks, this is a physical reaction, rather than a chemical one).

Warm pop:

Cold pop (and a smaller reaction - in case the picture isn't clear):

So, it appears my husband's argument in favor of keeping opened sodas in the fridge, instead of on the counter, is actually a valid one (drat!).

And, just so you don't get the mistaken impression, that we carry out these experiments in any kind of organized, scientific manner, I've included a video - keeping it real.

For more fun with science, click on over to Adventures in Mommydom, for this weeks Science Sunday link up.

It's great to be a homeschooler.


Michelle Gibson said...

This is great! This is already on my list to do, but I would not have thought to experiment with warm or cold soda! Great job. =)

Oh, and what is wrong with being organized and scientific? (smile) You will want to avoid my blog, because I am very much that type. :D

Debbie said...

What a great idea! I never gave it much thought as to rather warm pop would go flat before cold pop. I just figured once the pop was open it wouldn't matter.

I don't drink pop so that is probably why I never gave it much thought.

Unknown said...

Love the honesty- I believe when doing experiments with kiddos of various ages that there is ONLY "organized" chaos!

Butterfly said...

I love the background sound in the experiment video ... "drink, drink, drink!"

Marcee said...

Loved the video!!! It's great to hear your voices again!

Our boys got a glance at how to put in a new kitchen sink today!!!! They handed over a few tools to get the job done.

Annette W. said...

I love that you shared the history and that you were, umm...wrong.

So you call it soda and pop? Sometimes I do too...but mostly soda, but don't tell my mom!

I'm glad you like the owl card!

Ticia said...

I loved hearing one of your boys answer with what seemed a rather bored voice.
I'd never before heard that it goes flat slower when cold. I guess this reinforces my always wanting to drink it cold.....

Natalie PlanetSmarty said...

Fascinating experiment. Are you now going to start putting open pop in the fridge? ;)