Ostwald ripening: Champagne bubble physics may help address future energy needs

December 20, 2014 4:04 PM

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Ostwald ripening: Champagne bubble physics may help address future energy needs

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 18, 2014 -- Uncork a bottle of champagne, and as the pressure of the liquid is abruptly removed, bubbles immediately form and then rapidly begin the process of "coarsening," in which larger bubbles grow at the expense of smaller ones.

This fundamental nonequilibrium phenomenon is known as "Ostwald ripening," and though it is most familiar for its role in bubbly beverages, it is also seen in a wide range of scientific systems including spin systems, foams and metallic alloys.

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