The Science Behind The Majesty Of Dancing Raisins

Have you ever thrown a handful of raisins into a tub of sparkling water? Or peanuts into beer? It seems like an altogether strange thing to do, but if you’ve tried it, you’ll have seen the way the raisins dance and tumble in the fluid. As it turns out, there’s some really interesting science at play when you dive into the mechanics of it all. [Saverio Spagnolie] did just that, and even went as far as publishing a paper on the topic.

The fundamental mechanism behind the dancing raisins is down to the bubbles in sparkling water. When dropped into the fluid, bubbles form on the raisins and attach to them, giving them additional buoyancy.  They then float up, with some of the bubbles shedding or popping on the way, others doing so at the fluid surface. This then causes the raisins to lose buoyancy, rotate, flop around, and generally dance for our amusement.

[Saverio] didn’t just accept things at face value though, and started taking measurements. He used 3D-printed models to examine bubble formation and the forces involved. Along with other scientists, models were developed to explore bubble formation, shedding, and the dynamics of raisin movement. If you don’t have time to dive into the paper, [Saverio] does a great job of explaining it in a Twitter thread (Nitter) in an accessible fashion.

It’s a great example of cheap kitchen science that can teach you all kinds of incredible physics if you just care to look. Video after the break.

18 thoughts on “The Science Behind The Majesty Of Dancing Raisins

  1. When are we going to stop linking to Twitter threads? It’s always been an awful venue for content of any depth, and lately it’s supporting…. well, it’s legitimizing a network effect that has no business being legitimized.

    1. Get a grip.
      I don’t like Musk anymore either now that he went full US republican, and actively supports the US military complex. But it’s not like I support all the goddamn CEO’s of everything I use.
      Do you even know who owns the company that owns HaD and what their history and views and political stances are? I don’t, and I would not be surprised I’m better off that way.

      Just looked for a sec, supplyframe owns HaD but supplyframe is owned these days by Siemens.

      On the CEO of Siemens according to Wikipedia:
      Politically, Busch identifies as a centrist, distancing himself from both extreme right-wing populism and radical left-wing ideologies. He believes the fight against climate change to be vital but considers questioning capitalism because of it to be absurd. He often counters dogmatic green policies with economic statistics, emphasizing the number of people capitalism has lifted out of poverty and the overall increase in life expectancy.

      That seems relatively OK for a capitalist, but now look at the chairman Jim Hagemann Snabe.
      Corporate boards:
      Deutsche Bank, Member of the Global Advisory Board (since 2022)
      Northvolt, Chairman of the Board of Directors (since 2022)
      Maersk, Member of the Board of Directors (2016-2022), Chair of the Board of Directors (2017-2022)
      Siemens, Chair of the Supervisory Board (since 2018)
      Allianz, Member of the Supervisory Board (-2022)
      Non-profit organizations
      World Economic Forum (WEF), Member of the Board of Trustees (since 2014)

      That freaking WEF guy…
      And I think he made some statements in the past..

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