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Pressure in Fluids

The amount of force acting on a given area. Pressure = Force/Area

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Shot from a Cannon

Shot from a Cannon

Credit: terren in virginia
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8136496@N05/4289510096/
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

These rainbows O’s swimming in a bowl of milk are a familiar morning sight. They are a popular breakfast cereal. You may eat them yourself. If so, you’re far from alone.

Amazing but True!

  • Amazingly, Americans eat nearly three billion boxes of breakfast cereal every year! But few people know how the cereals are made.
  • Credit: Rich Mitchell
    Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mtchlra/12199275603/
    License: CC BY-NC 3.0

    The cereal section is often one of the larger sections at a supermarket [Figure2]

  • What’s the science behind those sweet and colorful puffs and flakes? Believe it not, cereals used to be shot from an actual cannon!
  • You can learn how by going on a virtual field trip at the following Web site. You’ll visit the very first exhibit of the fledgling New York Museum of Food and Drink. You’ll see puffed rice exploding from a cannon in slow motion. You can also view photos from the exhibit and read all about it here: http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2013-06/exclusive-video-exploding-rice-puffs

Show What You Know

Learn more about how breakfast cereals are made and the science behind it at the links below. Be sure to watch the vintage cereal commercials at the first link. Then answer the following questions.

  1. Describe how puffed cereals were originally made.
  2. Popcorn is a good model for how breakfast cereals are made. Explain why.
  3. A well-known breakfast cereal makes distinctive sounds when milk is poured over it. It “snaps, crackles, and pops.” Explain why.
  4. The way breakfast cereals are made shows how pressure affects changes of state. Describe how pressure affects the temperature at which a liquid changes to a gas.
  5. What explains the relationship in question 4 at the molecular level?

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Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: terren in virginia; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8136496@N05/4289510096/; License: CC BY-NC 3.0
  2. [2]^ Credit: Rich Mitchell; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mtchlra/12199275603/; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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