How popcorn pops: Slow-motion video explains sound, jump of hot kernels.

Slo-Mo Popcorn Video Shows Why Hot Kernels Jump: Popping Gives Them “Legs”

Slo-Mo Popcorn Video Shows Why Hot Kernels Jump: Popping Gives Them “Legs”

The state of the universe.
Feb. 19 2015 2:55 PM

What Gives Popcorn Its Pop?

Slow-motion video shows why kernels leap and emit their distinctive sound.

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Heated popcorn doesn't just pop, it jumps and yells. What makes it leap off the cooking surface, and what really causes the pop? In the journal Interface, two French researchers used a high-speed camera to look into the physics of everyone’s favorite culinary explosion. The results are in the video above.

Chris Wade is a New York-based video and audio producer and an occasional contributor to Brow Beat.