Champagne Bubble Physics

Champagne is well-known for its effervescence, but its tiny bubbles do more than affect your sensation when sipping. Champagne bubbles form when carbon dioxide dissolved in the wine nucleates along imperfections in the glass. Buoyancy causes them to flow upwards, growing as they pull more carbon dioxide from the surrounding champagne. When the bubbles reach the surface, they pop, sending an almost imperceptible fountain of tiny droplets into the air, as seen in the photo above. You can sometimes feel the droplets if you hold a glass near your face. The droplets released from the bursting champagne bubbles spread the aroma of the wine, imparting additional flavor through our olfactory sense. (Photo credit: F. Beaumont et al.)

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