Sunday, August 21, 2011

And it will come from a coffee stain

Like any good geek, I consume more than my fair share of coffee.  Coffee is after all, "the preferred drink of the civilized world" according to Thomas Jefferson.  But like many of my brethren, I have been forced to endure coffee stains in very embarrassing localities upon my trousers due to bungled mugs at work or drippy latte cups in the car.  Now, however, a new study has brought good from those unsightly stains.

If you've ever seen a coffee stain...and I'm guessing that you have...then you know that the dried stain turns colorless while the coffee tone retreats to the outer edge of the drop.  Research scientists have now found out why that is the case.
The particles of coffee are quite round.  As the stain dries, surface tension brings the liquid away from the center and the round particles roll with it.
What's that you say?  You really don't care about what happens when a coffee stain dries?  You soon may.  These said same scientists found that if they altered the coffee particles into a more ellipsoid shape, the particles remained clustered together, thus allowing for a uniform color in the stain.

This means new developments are on the way for ink printing...just as the print world breathes its last.  I jest.  Many things are printed besides reading materials.  This will also allow for quicker drying, smoother coating paints as well as important news for those who are fashion-inclined.  Imagine lotions and cosmetics that go on smoothly and dry quickly.  I'm sure that's good news for someone, just not necessarily me.
So from now on when I get those "embarrassingly located" coffee stains, I can shout back to all who might stare, "Hey!  I'm doing science here!"

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