Many science projects have been performed by children and adults alike to determine how and why Mentos candy makes soda explode and the types of soda that work best. There is a physical reaction between Mentos and carbon dioxide, which is found in most sodas.
Mentos reacts to the carbon dioxide found in most brands of soda. When a bottle of soda is packaged by the manufacturer, carbon dioxide is pumped into each bottle of soda. Carbon dioxide is what gives soda its bubble. When just about anything comes into contact with carbonated soda, there is some type of reaction. If salt is sprinkled into soda, it causes the bubbles in the soda to fizz. The same reaction occurs when a Mentos is dropped into soda.
Types of Sodas
Any soda that has carbon dioxide in it will react to Mentos, causing a surge of carbonated soda to explode from the top of the soda bottle. When preparing this project, it's important that nobody is near the bottle before the Mentos is dropped in. As soon as the Mentos are dropped into the bottle of soda, back away. Certain sodas, such as non-carbonated sodas, will not have a reaction to the Mentos because there is no carbon dioxide present.
Size of Explosion
The size of the explosion will not vary by brand of soda. The number of Mentos added to the soda will make a difference, though. The more Mentos that used, the greater the explosion. The surface of the candy has tiny dips and bumps, which make a rough surface with which the carbon dioxide interacts. The rougher the surface, the greater and taller the explosion. It's challenging to drop more than one Mentos candy into a bottle of soda because as soon as the first candy hits the surface, it will break the surface tension and begin the explosion.
Safety is important when performing an experiment where any explosions will or can occur. Anyone involved in the experiment should wear safety goggles to protect their eyes. It's also ideal to wear a plastic item, such as a poncho, over regular clothing to prevent soda from getting onto shirts and jeans. Diet soda---of any kind---is the least sticky.
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