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  #541  
Old 28.01.2008, 14:26
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Re: Airplanes drawing white smoky lines in winter ?

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I can see few aircrafts in the air .. making white lines particularly in winter ? what they are doing ... are they practising ..
which type of aircrafts are they ?
Do you mean "contrails"? It's moisture left from the heat of the engine, like little reams of fluffy white cloud.
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  #542  
Old 28.01.2008, 14:37
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Why is diet coke fizzier than normal coke?
Bubbles carry negative calories. It's why I drink Champagne.
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  #543  
Old 28.01.2008, 15:22
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Re: Ask a Scientist

Good champagne has tiny bubbles. Crap Cava, prosecco or ,God Forbid, Asti has big bubbles but tends to be drunk by fat women with big hair in bad clothes. Why is that ? We should be told.


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Bubbles carry negative calories. It's why I drink Champagne.
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  #544  
Old 28.01.2008, 15:35
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Why is diet coke fizzier than normal coke?
As per my understanding, which could be wrong, diet coke is fizzier than regualar coke because CO2 is more soluble in sugar water (30 g of sugar or so per 300 mL) than it is in water with a little bit of artificial sweetener (10 mg or so).

Mentos and diet coke anyone?
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  #545  
Old 31.01.2008, 09:25
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Why is diet coke fizzier than normal coke?
Extra CO2 is not really the reason here - diet coke and normal coke contain roughly the same amount of CO2 as far as i know. Sure, artificial sweetners are far more sweeter than sugar (eg. aspartame is around 200x sweeter) so you do not need to have so much dissolved in the liquid, leaving more room to dissolve CO2. So more CO2 can be pumped into diet coke, but that doesn't mean that more actually is pumped in.

The main reason is the (anti-)foaming properties of the sweetners. The syrup used to sweeten normal coke (HFCS) is very viscous and almost soapy, in comparison to artificial sweeteners. The sweetener in normal coke reduces the surface tension so much that bubbles cannot stay in the liquid for very long and so the fizziness does not last as long.

Another comparison: Mineral water stays fizzy for a lot longer if you do not add washing-up liquid. Tastes better, too.
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  #546  
Old 31.01.2008, 11:24
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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The main reason is the (anti-)foaming properties of the sweetners. The syrup used to sweeten normal coke (HFCS) is very viscous and almost soapy, in comparison to artificial sweeteners. The sweetener in normal coke reduces the surface tension so much that bubbles cannot stay in the liquid for very long and so the fizziness does not last as long.
One thing I've heard/read is that high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is rarely used in European or Swiss soft drinks (table sugar/sucrose is used instead). Additionally, I've heard people complain/remark that Coca Cola, Sprite, etc taste different in Europe and the States. So, would this mean that European Coca Cola is less fizzy than American Coca Cola? Anyone have a can of each who can do an experiment? :-) Or is HFCS just as foam-stabilizing as sucrose?

Which brings me to another question--any nutritionists/biochemists out there? Glucose is the sugar used by the body, the most quickly metabolized. So, why is high-fructose corn syrup so dangerous? Wouldn't it have to undergo some chemical change before it can be used by cells?
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  #547  
Old 02.02.2008, 07:59
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Re: Ask a Scientist

Since we're talking fizzy drinks here's one I've thought of submitting to MythBusters-- If you take an entire bottle of club soda (fizzy water) and freeze it instantly (more or less) in liquid nitrogen, do you wind up with a mixture of dry ice and ice? And if so, will putting it back out at room temperature make it explode given that the dry ice turns immediately to gas while the water is still solid?

Now, I don't think it will explode simply given that there's not enough CO2 probably to generate the pressure needed to break the ice, and that there are probably enough small holes for the CO2 gas to work its way out. But in true MythBusters style, if we couldn't get the soda bottle to do it, could we figure out a way to compress a larger amount of CO2 gas in water and freeze it so that we *could* make it blow up?

Oh, and given the (surprising) number of geeky academics on this forum, thought you'd all appreciate this if not already familiar with it: www.phdcomics.com
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  #548  
Old 07.02.2008, 12:23
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Re: Ask a Scientist

I've got a question (actually two) for the chemists/biochemists/biologists here:

(1) I think I recall from my chemistry lectures in high school that glucose comes in two versions, I think they're denoted as cis- resp. trans-. Can the human body use both of them? Do both versions taste sweet on the tongue? Do both versions have the same physical properties?

(2) I believe I've once heard that the DNA helix has the same "handedness" for all living organisms. Is there any "reason" for Nature "choosing" one handedness over the other?
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  #549  
Old 07.02.2008, 12:45
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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One thing I've heard/read is that high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is rarely used in European or Swiss soft drinks (table sugar/sucrose is used instead). Additionally, I've heard people complain/remark that Coca Cola, Sprite, etc taste different in Europe and the States. So, would this mean that European Coca Cola is less fizzy than American Coca Cola? Anyone have a can of each who can do an experiment? :-) Or is HFCS just as foam-stabilizing as sucrose?

Which brings me to another question--any nutritionists/biochemists out there? Glucose is the sugar used by the body, the most quickly metabolized. So, why is high-fructose corn syrup so dangerous? Wouldn't it have to undergo some chemical change before it can be used by cells?
I'm no nutritionist or biochemist, but I am a scientist concerned about HFCS. I can confirm that soft drinks taste different in Europe and in Mexico (compared to the U.S.) because of sugar vs. HFCS, although I'm not sure of its impact on fizziness. There was a decent article on 'what's so bad about HFCS' in the San Francisco Chronicle a couple of years ago, and I summarize it on my website.
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  #550  
Old 11.02.2008, 09:40
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Since we're talking fizzy drinks here's one I've thought of submitting to MythBusters-- If you take an entire bottle of club soda (fizzy water) and freeze it instantly (more or less) in liquid nitrogen, do you wind up with a mixture of dry ice and ice? And if so, will putting it back out at room temperature make it explode given that the dry ice turns immediately to gas while the water is still solid?

Now, I don't think it will explode simply given that there's not enough CO2 probably to generate the pressure needed to break the ice, and that there are probably enough small holes for the CO2 gas to work its way out. But in true MythBusters style, if we couldn't get the soda bottle to do it, could we figure out a way to compress a larger amount of CO2 gas in water and freeze it so that we *could* make it blow up?
In a bottle of soda water, the CO2 is dissolved in water--just like salt dissolves in water. The solubility of CO2 in water increases with decreased temperature, which means, by cooling soda water, it is less likely that the CO2 will exist as a gas. It will stay dissolved as it solidifies, as long as you're only warming it back to room temperature. Above room temperature, less and less CO2 will stay dissolved. Since more and more will be in the gas state, the pressure in the bottle will increase. If you really want to see it explode, just heat it.

A can would explode, though--they are pretty full and the expansion of the water as it turns to ice would be strong enough to break the can.
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  #551  
Old 14.02.2008, 00:56
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Re: Ask a Scientist

Poop, you're right, wah.
Damn you, kinetic energy! (Also goes to show how quickly we lose the scientific knowledge from our undergraduate days. Note use of the royal "we.")
It would be so much more interesting to make ice blow up than to heat soda..

Hey, can someone here tell me how "exposure" works in a digital camera? I have a vague understanding of how traditional photography works, light exposing the silver halide, and fast vs. slow exposures, and "fast film" getting you grainier photos. But how does all this work with digital photography? And what the heck does image stabilization do anyway?
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  #552  
Old 14.02.2008, 03:52
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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I've got a question (actually two) for the chemists/biochemists/biologists here:

(1) I think I recall from my chemistry lectures in high school that glucose comes in two versions, I think they're denoted as cis- resp. trans-. Can the human body use both of them? Do both versions taste sweet on the tongue? Do both versions have the same physical properties?

(2) I believe I've once heard that the DNA helix has the same "handedness" for all living organisms. Is there any "reason" for Nature "choosing" one handedness over the other?
I'm a touch busy as of late, but have the answers to your questions and will tend to them sometime in the near future.
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  #553  
Old 14.02.2008, 09:47
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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I'm a touch busy as of late, but have the answers to your questions and will tend to them sometime in the near future.
Great, looking forward to your answer!
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  #554  
Old 19.02.2008, 07:20
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Re: Ask a Scientist

Time for an unrelated physics question...

Why are ocean waves (as seen from the seashore) always exactly the same distance apart? Why are there never, for example, baby waves that are out of band with the big waves?

And what's the surfing like in the Zurisee?
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  #555  
Old 19.02.2008, 09:17
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Time for an unrelated physics question...

Why are ocean waves (as seen from the seashore) always exactly the same distance apart? Why are there never, for example, baby waves that are out of band with the big waves?

And what's the surfing like in the Zurisee?
In general ocean waves are the same distance apart! Ocean waves are like any other waves and have the same physical properties (combination of longitudinal and transverse waves). In this respect they have an amplitude (wave height) and period(time between the waves). Proper ocean waves that you see breaking with a regular period on the shore have been caused thousands of miles away. A storm causes wind chop on the oceans surface, as it travels away from the storm area the wind chop forms into regular lines and becomes ocean swell, the further it travels the more regular it becomes until it hits a beach. The period of the waves are the same as the hit the beach which is why they are the same distance apart.

Any surfer will tell you that the period of the wave is just as important as the wave height. The period is a representation of how how much power there will be in a wave. A 2m wave with a period of 10 or 12 seconds could have much more force then a 4m wave with a period of 5 or 6 seconds. Other factors that effect how the wave breaks are, how the beach shelves, the angle the beach is to the swell and the wind direction at the beach.

Zurisee or any lake no matter how big is pretty terrible for surfing, as there simply isn't enough fetch (distance for the swell to travel) for the chop to form regular lines with a decent period. The best surfing waves are in places where there is an unhindered ocean crossing between the storm that caused the waves and the beach they break on!
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  #556  
Old 19.02.2008, 09:38
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Re: Ask a Scientist

ok .. this should be a simple one....

Does the sun move? , sure we all know the planets orbit the sun , but does the sun just sit there, or does it rotate on its axis, or ...does it have an axis ?
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  #557  
Old 19.02.2008, 09:39
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Re: Ask a Scientist

and a second question?

when I turn on an electric light bulb.. does the light from the bulb travel at the speed of light?
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  #558  
Old 19.02.2008, 09:43
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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ok .. this should be a simple one....

Does the sun move? , sure we all know the planets orbit the sun , but does the sun just sit there, or does it rotate on its axis, or ...does it have an axis ?
Sorry, not a scientist, but I believe the sun must move, as the sun has a gravitational pull on the planets around it, likewise the planets have a pull on the sun, which should cause it to wobble.
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  #559  
Old 19.02.2008, 09:45
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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ok .. this should be a simple one....

Does the sun move? , sure we all know the planets orbit the sun , but does the sun just sit there, or does it rotate on its axis, or ...does it have an axis ?
The sun does rotate, about every 27 days, so does have an axis. And as just mentioned it moves back and forth in space due to the gravitational pull of the other planets. That's actually how astronomers are able to tell if stars have planets around them.
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  #560  
Old 19.02.2008, 09:48
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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and a second question?

when I turn on an electric light bulb.. does the light from the bulb travel at the speed of light?
Ummmm. . . . yes-ish. As per my understanding the medium through which the light travels has an effect on the actual speed so it's probably moving slightly slower than through space, a vacuum.
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