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12 year study reveals number of bubbles in Champagne

It's a tough job but someone's got to do it! Gérard Liger-Belair, a physicist at the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne in France has been studying the number of bubbles in Champagne for the last 12 years. His original estimate was about 15 million but now he has finally worked out the numbers - wonder why this particular project took him so long!!

He reckons a 100-millilitre (about 3.4 ounce) pour of Champagne will produce about one million bubbles before it goes flat (about four hours), he reported in The Journal of Physical Chemistry. This was calculated by dividing the total volume of dissolved carbon dioxide by the average size of a Champagne bubble. Liger-Belair said he took a number of factors into account, including the concentration of dissolved gas, the shape and height of the glass, the temperature of the wine and the surrounding air, the direction of the pour and a complicating fact about the bubbles: They grow larger as they ascend and absorb more carbon dioxide, but smaller overall as time passes.