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chemistry FAQ's

How Does the Mentoes/Coke Explosion Work?

Bubbles in fizzy drinks can only form at points called nucleation sites – these are sharp edges or bits of dirt or grime that helps the release of carbon dioxide gas.

A mento is actually not as smooth as it appears. Under a microscope you can see that there are millions of tiny craters on the surface. Each of these provides a nucleation site for carbon dioxide gas to form.

Fast Fact: Diet coke works best because the surface tension in the drink is much lower than regular coke – this allows bubbles to form more easily. This is due to the substitution of sugar with the sweetener aspartame.

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