The Explorers finished off a year of experiments with the now-annual (by popular demand, with the emphasis on the word “demand”) pop bottle geysers activity.
This impressive, rather messy display is the result of a simple physical reaction that happens when two substances meet. In this case, the culprits are the small round candies known as Mentos and carbonated liquid—otherwise known as soda pop. The secret is a process called “nucleation.”
In May 2010 the Explorers celebrated their annual pop bottle geyser festival.
This activity takes advantage of a phenomenon known as “nucleation,” in which bubbles form explosively in soda when given a suitable surface to latch onto. And when we say explosively, we MEAN explosively, as those club members who had not experienced this before found out for themselves.
On October 2, 2008, the Explorers investigated the properties of “nucleation.” Sounds innocent enough, right? The club members found out otherwise!
So what is nucleation? Put simply, it is the process of a phase change occuring rapidly due to a seeding opportunity. Okay, maybe that wasn’t so simple, so let’s investigate a little further, using the same materials the Explorers used: 2-liter bottles of pop and mint-flavored Mentos candies.