Archive for the ‘ Fun ’ Category

The “Cup of Coffee” Problem

Scientific Research. The advancement of human knowledge. What is happening there? Well, for example two scientist from the University of California just published a paper about the problem that occur when you are walking with a cup of coffee: Coffee might spill out!

For an experimental study they asked two groups of people to carry a cup of coffee. The people of the first group concentrated on the cup, the second did not. The amazing result was, that the people of the first group had less trouble carrying the cup.

They also made studies on the oscillations in the coffee that come from the movement of the person who is walking with the cup. Those coffee waves might spill out of the cup if there is a small distortion. Because of an unsteady movement or because of stumbling. Also you should at least have a gapĀ  of about 1 cm between the coffee and the top of the cup.

So what we learn from this paper is: be careful if you are walking with a cup of coffee, don’t put to much coffee in your cup. Or at best: Put your coffee machine in your office!

Reference: H.C. Mayer and R. Krechetnikov, Phys. Rev. E 85, 046117 (2012)