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

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

Asked by: Ewan Hamish, Nottinghamshire

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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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Authors

Robert is a science writer and visiting professor of science at Aston University.

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