Why do champagne bubbles rise from the bottom of a glass?

If your champagne glasses are grubby, bubbles will form on the specks of dirt, betraying your shoddy washing-up skills.

18th October 2017
Why do champagne bubbles rise from the bottom of a glass? © Getty

Asked by: Ewan Hamish, Nottinghamshire

The bubbles are filled with carbon dioxide (CO2), a gas 800 times less dense than the surrounding liquid. Molecules of this gas accumulating in imperfections in the glass and start to form a bubble, whose low density supplies enough buoyancy to break off and float towards the surface. In the process they run into more molecules, making the bubble even bigger and more buoyant, and accelerating its ascent.

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