Candy Physics Is My New Favorite Branch Of Science

By: Winona Dimeo-Ediger / September 10, 2012

Finally a team of physicists has devoted the proper time and effort to answering the age old question, “Is it better to bite into a round piece of candy, or continually suck on it?” In a paper poetically titled, “Sticky physics of joy: On the dissolution of spherical candies,” researchers from the University of Graz in Austria described the results of an experiment in which they placed spherical candies in a water bath made to replicate the pH levels and movement of a human mouth and observed the way they dissolved over time. The researchers expected the candy to vanish exponentially, but their findings indicated that the candies dissolved at a constant linear rate instead. What does this mean for candy enthusiasts?

Well, if you want to enjoy your round candies longer, keep on sucking and resist the urge to bite: breaking your candy into smaller pieces will create more surface area, which will speed up the dissolution process. And don’t worry–this study wasn’t funded by millions in government grants. “It was more like a Sunday afternoon project,” says lead researcher Andreas Windisch. “When we got the results, we decided to put it into a paper and send a draft to a educational journal to use it as a nice example for school classes.” Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go apply the principles of candy physics to a box of Whoppers. [NPR]