First let me copy what has and had been said starting below with Dear Cecil (two words that I fear may spark an White House inquiry one day)
Long ago I noticed that the bubbles in clear carbonated beverages seem to stream from
fixed spots on the bottom and sides of the glass containing them. Boiling water seems to
behave in a similar way. What’s so special about these spots? --David Peterson,
They’ve got a fancy name, for starters, The places from which the bubbles stream are known as nucleation sites. They’re microscopic defects or bits of crud on the glass. When water is changing
phase (e.g., boiling, condensing, freezing), it needs a place where the vapor bubbles, droplets, crystals, or whatever can congregate until they’re big enough to survive. That’s what nucleation sites
provide. Snowflakes and raindrops, for instance, typically form around dust motes. When water reaches the boiling point, the scratches in the container provide havens where microscopic bubbles can collect long enough to become big bubbles.
The carbon dioxide bubbles in beer and soft drinks work the same way. Before you uncap the bottle, the pressure inside keeps all the CO2 in solution. After uncorking, the reduced pressure enables the gas to slowly boil away, which is where the nucleation sites come in handy. If you want to see some serious bubble action, try sprinkling salt in your beer. The salt provides an abundance of nucleation sites, producing not only a fascinating demonstration of physics but pots of fun besides.
Okay smarty pants…(geee who invented smarty pants)…tell us something in plain english we don’t already
know. Soooo…there called “nucleation sites” and they are places where water “needs a place where the vapor bubbles, droplets, crystals, or whatever can congregate until they’re big enough to survive” how did streaming bubbles/droplets/crystals suddenly become intelligent and living little beings where they need a night life so they can hang out with their buddies until they reach adulthood. These little beings we have overlooked for so long suddenly have a better social life than me and I want to get to the bottom of it. How come they have such well developed social instincts…so much so… that they tend to party when they all get together. In other words…I would like to see a better answer to Daved Petersons question. How the “tarnation” (Webster’s description of this word is hilarious) do these benign molecules know there is a party happening over at Defects pad or Cruds place and they all go racing over there. I find it amazing that as I watch a pot of water boil that bubbles come streaming out yet the amount of liquid stays at the same level. Does not the air in the bubbles represent some mass within the water?
BTW I realize it was from an early column and your skills had not yet been honed by hoards of whanabee Cliff Clavens.