The science behind the bubbles in your glass of Champagne

Monday, 15 May, 2023
The Telegraph, Joe Pinkstone
Champagne’s flavour is also the secret to a glass of fizz’s unique straight line of bubbles, scientists have discovered for the first time.

‌A flute of Champagne has bubbles, just like a glass of pop or beer, but unlike other carbonated drinks they form orderly vertical lines.

‌Experts have long been trying to understand the fluid dynamics that underpin this fine dining mystery and have now discovered the secret lies in the flavour.

‌Molecules called surfactants - lubricating molecules also commonly found in detergents - are found in Champagne and are believed to help provide its distinctive taste.

‌But a study by Brown University researchers has now found they also alter the surface properties of bubbles in a drink and are responsible for their vertical alignment.

‌In Champagne there are small bubbles and plenty of these lubricating molecules, which creates order and a highly organised form of carbonation.

‌Other fizzy drinks have more frenetic bubble patterns and this is because they do not have surfactants.

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