Physics is a field tailor-made for asking the big questions. It probes fundamental mysteries and mechanisms at the heart of our universe, grapples with the ineffable, and helps us makes sense out of what might otherwise just look like chaos.
And sometimes, it tells us why our cookies act weird.
Physics World’s list of the quirkiest stories from the world of physics in 2022 features two papers from Physics of Fluid:
“On Oreology, the fracture and flow of “milk’s favorite cookie®”,” published by Massachusetts Institute of Technology PhD student Crystal Owens, took a deep dive into the mystery of how the filling of an Oreo, when twisted apart, always manages to end up on one — not both — of the Oreo’s two chocolate cookies. They even built a specialized machine to separate Oreos for the sake of their experiment, ultimately finding that how fast or slow the cookie is twisted will determine how clean the filling breaks.
And in “Computational fluid dynamic simulation of the supersonic CO2 flow during champagne cork popping,” by Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne’s Gérard Liger-Belair, one team studied the champagne uncorking process to determine what happens in the very, very brief window just after a bottle is opened. The researchers found each uncorking creates a series of shock waves similar to those normally found in rocket exhaust plumes — resulting in the gases from inside the bottle escaping at supersonic speeds.
To read more about each experiment — and the other eight stories from 2022 chosen by Physics World — visit the list here.