The Physics Of Popcorn: It's Snack Gymnastics

Popcorn is all about drama. It bursts into fluffiness, then hops and flips. It's a beautiful process, and the physics behind it piqued the curiosity of a pair of French researchers (aeronautical engineer Emmanuel Virot and physicist Alexandre Ponomarenko) as reported by Deborah Netburn in the Los Angeles Times.

Photo via Wikipedia Commons.

Take a look at a kernel of popcorn in action, up close:

Popcorn birth (5/6) from Emmanuel Virot on Vimeo.

3 More Popcorn #FunFacts:

  • No other grain pops as dramatically as popcorn. But millet, quinoa, and amaranth also pop when heated.
  • Most all popcorn kernels will pop when they reach 180 degrees C (only 34 percent popped at just 10 degrees cooler).
  • The trigger of popcorn's distinctive pop is the release of water vapor.

Get poppin' with these recipes.

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