Hot chocolate music experiment

by bryan kennedy on Jan. 19th, 2007

Over on the New Scientist's Short Sharp Science blog there is a great little experiment to try. Mix up some hot chocolate and tap your spoon on the bottom of the mug. As you do this the pitch of the tapping sound will change. Why? They don't know yet either. Any guesses?

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Gene's picture
Gene says:

This was answered 20 years ago by the great Cecil Adams.

posted on Fri, 01/19/2007 - 11:02am
bryan kennedy's picture

Cool, thanks Gene. I wonder if you could build a musical instrument that worked on this principle of little air bubbles escaping from powders.

posted on Fri, 01/19/2007 - 12:17pm
mdr's picture
mdr says:

I was going to suggest that it was because air bubbles were escaping from the powder, but I guess I'm two decades too late. Darn it.

posted on Fri, 01/19/2007 - 2:36pm
bryan kennedy's picture

Ha, cool. I just tried it with some hot chocolate I got for Christmas. It totally works. Fun.

posted on Fri, 01/19/2007 - 10:54pm
Siraj's picture
Siraj says:

Blue Man Group use this swirling motion sound modulation within their act, and have been doing it for quite a few years...

posted on Thu, 01/25/2007 - 9:30am
jennifer's picture
jennifer says:

i think that this thing is good but what is it for i mean it has only facts about choclate not sincen

posted on Thu, 01/25/2007 - 7:57pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

Science is everywhere, in everything. Just about anything you could possibly be thinking about at any given moment has some kind of science angle. Even hot chocolate. :)

posted on Thu, 01/25/2007 - 8:42pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i love this ideaa

posted on Thu, 03/08/2007 - 12:52pm
Hot Chocolate Man's picture

Sounds a lot like playing music on crystal wine glasses.

posted on Mon, 08/04/2008 - 10:48pm
Techno's picture
Techno says:

In the techno world, this type of thing would be called a phenomenon. But even if researchers don't yet know why the pitch changes, you can still drink the hot chocolate :)

posted on Wed, 02/17/2010 - 9:12pm

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