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The Physics of Beer Bubbles 113

Posted by Zonk
from the researchers-put-in-a-lot-of-overtime-on-this-one dept.
Roland Piquepaille writes "Yesterday, I told you about virtual beer. Today, we follow two North America researchers who are studying the physics of real beer bubbles. 'Singly scattered waves form the basis of many imaging techniques such as radar or seismic exploration.' But pouring beer in a mug involves multiply scattered acoustic waves. They are more complex to study, but they can be used to look at various phenomena, such as predicting volcanic eruptions or understanding the movement of particles in fluids like beer. They also could be used to monitor the structural health of bridges and buildings or the stability of food products over time. Read more for additional references and a photo showing how the researchers monitor beer bubbles."
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The Physics of Beer Bubbles

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  • Frosty Piss (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    On Topic
  • by creimer (824291) on Sunday August 05, 2007 @06:15PM (#20125617) Homepage
    Sorry, I'll take my beer without the scientific mumbo jumbo. If I wanted to get technical, I would drink wines and learn how to sniff corks.
    • uh skip the wine and go straight to the 151. You cant be a pirate without rum!
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      1: Exhale normally
      2: Locate cork near nasal orifice
      3: Inhale deeply and slowly
      4: You should smell vapor coming off the cork

      I say people who class wine as a more 'sophisticated' and 'connoisseur' drink are fuckwads. The kind of people who tailor their tastes to what they think will present them as the person they are comfortable being.

      I've heard people say 'I don't like the taste of beer' (nobody likes the taste of anything, you acquire all tastes.) and then say 'I like wine, it has so much history'.

      Beer is
      • I have almost the opposite problem. I prefer wine to beer, although I'm a connoisseur of neither. At least in the UK, if you want a drink down the pub, a glass of wine gets you laughed out of the door. If you want to be accepted then you can't appear sophisticated - you have to pretend you like beer.
    • by packeteer (566398)
      Please don't sniff the cork, it makes you look as unrefined as a... beer drinker!

      *ducks*
  • by MyLongNickName (822545) on Sunday August 05, 2007 @06:16PM (#20125627) Journal
    More research [theonion.com] on the subject. Very interesting stuff.
  • by HangingChad (677530) on Sunday August 05, 2007 @06:27PM (#20125689) Homepage

    Read more for additional references and a photo showing how the researchers monitor beer bubbles.

    People are getting paid to study beer? Where do I sign up?

    • by tepples (727027)

      People are getting paid to study beer? Where do I sign up?
      You could always apply for a job with Anheuser-Busch [buschjobs.com].
      • He did say "Beer" not "Watered down horse-piss"
        • Heh, no doubt.

          Real men drink real beer. Examples include, (but not limited to) Bass, Shiner, Dos Equis, Fat Tire (New Belgium Brewery) and just about anything imported from Germany.

          Wow, I posted something about beer on slashdot, and it's on-topic!
          • by Cadallin (863437)
            If real men drink beer, then who's drinking aged single-malt whiskeys?
            • by Minwee (522556)

              If real men drink beer, then who's drinking aged single-malt whiskeys?

              Aliens, obviously.

          • The rule I go by is "If I can see through it, it's not beer"

            though I do have to say, as far as American beer goes, Sam Adams is very good
      • wow. talk about the fox guarding the hen house.
        profits? all in HC's gut.
    • Forget the big brewers, they are just marketing organisations. Eventually the product will consist of yellow dye and bio-ethanol, and by then the "consumer" won't even notice. The real research is done in small breweries and micro-breweries. Just get yourself an MSc or PhD in microbiology first.

      Nowadays the thing I ask myself is "will this job be of any value if civilisation collapses?" If you work in a call centre or IT, be very afraid...but if you can fix a broken irrigation pump or generator, build a hou

  • Possible uses (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fishthegeek (943099) on Sunday August 05, 2007 @06:31PM (#20125705) Journal
    They could use the random interactions of the beer bubbles as a random number generator for crypto. This is much cooler than the plain ol' lava-lamp random number generator that Sun uses.

    Plus this gives the added advantage of being able to recruit college students that are torn between a degree in Art History, and one in Math by telling them that they'll be forced to work with beer. It's a Win/Win situation!
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      So cracking CSS would be reduced to waiting for the beer to go flat?
    • The problem would be having to refill the RNG every time a grad student walks past. People only try and drink a lava-lamp once.
  • by edwardpickman (965122) on Sunday August 05, 2007 @06:31PM (#20125709)
    Yeah but have they split the Beer atom?
  • by feepness (543479) on Sunday August 05, 2007 @06:35PM (#20125729) Homepage
    And can it be used to power a starship drive [wikipedia.org]?
    • Re:What about tea? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by 1u3hr (530656) on Sunday August 05, 2007 @09:58PM (#20126805)
      And can it be used to power a starship drive?

      Of course the Infinite Improbability Drive is powered by tea.

      But Poul Anderson had a real beer-powered spaceship. [fantasticfiction.co.uk]

      • by etwills (471396)

        And can it be used to power a starship drive?

        Of course the Infinite Improbability Drive is powered by tea.

        Depends which Hitchhiker's version. Apparently, in the German radio episodes, 'a nice cool beer replaces hot tea as the source for brownian motion. While this appears as nonsense from a scientific point of view, it was perhaps done because of the cliché that beer is "the favourite drink in Germany" instead of tea' [Wikipedia 'Differences...' article [wikipedia.org]].

  • by kypper (446750) on Sunday August 05, 2007 @06:38PM (#20125743)
    The geometric shapes formed by coke rocks [wikipedia.org] and how they are giving architects new ideas!
  • Einstein was the one who added bubbles to beer. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Young_Einstein [wikipedia.org]
    • by wish bot (265150)
      Oh my - who modded this informative! IT'S A FICTONAL MOVIE, and therefore A JOKE! Digg readers with mod points...sheeze.
  • "Yesterday, I told you about virtual beer.

    Translation:

    "Yesterday, I made inane commentary, ripped off images from the parent site, and quoted blocks of text whole-sale. I did this instead of submitting a story to Slashdot with links to the original site, because that wouldn't get me and CNET ad revenue. And now I'm doing it again today."

    Can we please get a Roland filter, a la Jon Katz? And can Slashdot please stop linking to useless blogs?

    • by 1u3hr (530656)
      I though I invented the "fuckroland" tag ... I suppose it's a fairly obvious idea.

      Anyway, it seems that after a few weeks of just submitting articles to lull the editors, he's returned, as he ALWAYS does, to pimping his own "blog" (of plagiarised stories and pictures) linked "Read more for additional references ..."

    • There are a few Roland Piquepaille filters available - they take the form of Greasemonkey scripts running in Firefox

      I use this one: http://userscripts.org/scripts/review/5735/ [userscripts.org] it's called NoRoland - if userscripts.org is down (again), the author (Dave?) hosts it on his own site too - http://davephp.net/ [davephp.net]

      It's very effective - all I see of Roland's pollution now is a greyed out article box with the words "This is a slashvertisement. Please ignore!"

      Most of the time I choose to "ignore"

  • by CrAlt (3208) on Sunday August 05, 2007 @06:54PM (#20125859) Homepage Journal
    I can hear them now..

    guinness beer guys: "Mixing math with beer? Brilliant!!"
  • by Fyz (581804) on Sunday August 05, 2007 @07:03PM (#20125889)
    I work at a bar, and sometimes i see an interesting phenomenon in beer glasses. If you leave a draft beer out and let the foam fizzle away, after a while(but not too long or the foam will disappear completely) the foam will coalesce into a ring shaped pattern of circles, equally sized and spaced and at the same distance from the rim and centre of the glass.
    It takes about half an hour for this pattern to form, and for the life of me, I can't figure out what makes it!
    Anyone?
  • We haven't seen this level of advancement in beer technology since Einstein split the beer atom [wikipedia.org] back in 1988.

    - Stealth Dave
  • Ahhh, someone is taking up his groundbreaking research into beer bubble paths. Soon we shall be able to find out irreproducable his work truly is!
    • Now, now.....he's doing proper research.


      *smirk*


      They said the laser was of no practical use when it was invented.....


      *snigger*


      "You could potentially use this technique to monitor the product to make sure it remains stable over time."


      Oh good grief, all that research and what does he comes up with? A chocolate-quality-control device. Release the hounds....
  • by eebra82 (907996) on Sunday August 05, 2007 @07:26PM (#20126009) Homepage
    Scientist: Our group would like to study beer bubbles. Board member: Denied. We need a cure for cancer. Scientist: But it's really important -- like that Norwegian study which proved that penguins don't fall on their back when observing passing planes. Board member: Sorry, but it's not viable. Scientist: You can have 20 percent of the beer. Board member: Will $200,000 do?
    • by Chris Burke (6130)
      Scientist: But it's really important -- like that Norwegian study which proved that penguins don't fall on their back when observing passing planes.

      Damn it, that was our only defense against the penguin hordes!
  • ...if you put a beer into a soundproof booth, are the bubbles still going to behave how the researchers expect them to?
  • Although I won't go give Roland a pile of cash, I think it's worth mentioning that there's this amusing little video [stanford.edu]regarding beer bubble physics.

    It's all on why bubbles in Guinness move down.
  • Trust nerds to take the fun out of beer and turn it in to something "interesting".
  • Yahoo!
  • Although the award in 2002 to Arnd Leike for his Beer Froth research might disqualify them...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Perfect time to point this out. A full sized, beer brewing, talking Bender.

    http://www.asciimation.co.nz/bender [asciimation.co.nz]
  • This research does not seem to be fair enough. These findings were already theorized by the French mathematician René Thom; he developed the catastrophe theory between 1968 and 1972. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ren%C3%A9_thom [wikipedia.org] He published his work "Structural Stability and Morphogenesis" (1972), where he states the catastrophe theory may explain natural phenomena such as the beer bubbles, the tree barks, vulcanic activity, earthquakes, sea waves, and even a stock market catastrophes... It's a shame
    • This research does not seem to be fair enough. These findings were already theorized by the French mathematician René Thom; he developed the catastrophe theory between 1968 and 1972.

      That's right, he developed a theory. It wasn't until the early 1990s when I was playing in a band and I left a beer on my bass rig for one really short song that anyone proved the actual catastrophe.

      Completely flat.

      • Was it warm? Chances are, the drummer stole your beer and peed in the glass. They do that, drummers. Probably because they're jealous of musicians.
  • ... so I could post how much this made me think of Young Einstein. I also knew this is the only place in the world where other people actually know about such an awesome movie. I feel at home :)

    Just let me hear some of that rock and roll music
    Any old time you choose it
    It's got a back beat you can't lose it,
    Any old time you use it
    Gotta be rock roll music
    If you wanna dance with me
    If you wanna dance with me
  • What goes down, may eventually come up.
  • Does my memory serve me correct? Wasn't the physics of a nice cup of tea discussed a few years ago? Brownian motion and all that!
    I think it came with fairy cake too.....

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