The Cheerios effect

Have you ever wondered why the bubbles on top of your pint tend to “stick” to the side of the glass? The answer has been found by my colleague at OCCAM (Dominic Vella): it’s because of the “Cheerios effect”.

author Chough,

The reason for this is that most liquids love to stick to glass (i.e. they like to wet glass). This results in the formation of a concave meniscus – as shown in the figure to the right. Since bubbles float, they tend to rise to the top of the meniscus, i.e. to the side of the glass. Dr Vella has analysed this problem and concluded that it is the reason why Cheerios floating on milk tend to stick together. He wrote a clear and entertaining paper on the topic: enjoy the reading!


About jakirkpatrick

I am a researcher in solar energy at the University of Oxford. I am interested in mathematics, programming and trying to understand why things work. I also like the great outdoors and riding my bike.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s