Science with Samantha: Mentos and CoCa-Cola

We’ve all seen this trick, but how and why does it work? Meteorologist Samantha Jacques explains the science behind the Mentos and Coca-Cola reaction, and how you can try this exciting Captureexperiment at home in this edition of Science with Samantha. 

Ingredients

  • Mentos & Diet Coke 
  • Ingredients Needed: 
  • Mentos 
  • Diet Coke or Coke Zero

The Science Explained: 

Diet coke contains carbon dioxide, which is the gas that creates the bubbles and fizz you taste when drinking pop. These carbon dioxide molecules are linked to one another and when broken apart they create bubbles. This happens naturally over time once pop is opened. The mento candy has a rough surface, with little divots, that breaks the carbon dioxide bonds apart quickly. The density of the mentos will cause them to sink rapidly and causes a fast and large eruption. This is actually a physical reaction because all the ingredients are present in the pop to make the explosion occur (Example is if you were to shake the pop). The Mentos just cause the bubbling and fizzing process to occur quicker than normal. 

Some Questions To Prompt The Activity 

  1. What do you notice about the mentos candy?
  2. Why does pop fizz and bubble?
  3. Is this a chemical or physical reaction?

Experiment Steps:

  1. Head outside to an area that it is okay to get a little messy. 
  2. Open up your 2-liter bottle
  3. Add four to five mentos quickly
  4. Back up and watch the physical reaction take place. 
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