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cola and mentos

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Drop a few mentos into a bottle of coke and watch the exploding fountain


A bottle of coke and some mentos


Make sure you are doing this experiment in a place where you won't get in trouble for getting Diet Coke everywhere. Outside on some grass is perfect, please don't try this one in your family lounge!!
Stand the Diet Coke upright and unscrew the lid. Put some sort of funnel or tube on top of it so you can drop the Mentos in at the same time (about half the pack is a good amount). Doing this part can be tricky if you don't have a specially designed geyser tube, I recommend buying one
Time for the fun part, drop the Mentos into the Diet Coke and run like mad! If you've done it properly a huge geyser of Diet Coke should come flying out of the bottle, it's a very impressive sight. The record is about 9 metres (29 feet) high!

Discuss what is happening: The thing that makes soda drinks bubbly is the carbon dioxide that is pumped in when they bottle the drink at the factory. It doesn't get released from the liquid until you pour it into a glass and drink it, some also gets released when you open the lid (more if you shake it up beforehand). This means that there is a whole lot of carbon dioxide gas just waiting to escape the liquid in the form of bubbles.

Dropping something into the Diet Coke speeds up this process by both breaking the surface tension of the liquid and also allowing bubbles to form on the surface area of the Mentos. Mentos candy pieces are covered in tiny dimples (a bit like a golf ball), which dramatically increases the surface area and allows a huge amount of bubbles to form.

The experiment works better with Diet Coke than other sodas due to its slightly different ingredients and the fact that it isn't so sticky


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