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Diet Coke and Mentos: What is really behind this physical reaction?

by Tonya Shea Coffey
American Journal of Physics ()
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The Diet Coke and Mentos reaction is a fun demonstration in chemistry and physics classes of many important concepts in thermodynamics, fluid dynamics, surface science, and the physics of explosions. The reaction has been performed numerous times on television and the Internet, but has not been systematically studied. We report on an experimental study of the Diet Coke and Mentos reaction, and consider many aspects of the reaction, including the ingredients in the candy and soda, the roughness of the candy, the temperature of the soda, and the duration of the reaction.

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