Frozen peas and carrots are commonly available in grocery stores in the United States. The carrots are cut into cubes roughly 8 mm on a side, while the peas are roughly spherical with a diameter of about 6 mm. They are prepared together in water that is brought to a boil. The peas and carrots, which are initially mixed together, separate as the water is heated. By counting the number of border vs. non-border vegetables before and after boiling, the decrease of the number of vegetables on the border demonstrates separation rather than chance rearrangement with the highly significant value p < 0.00001. The demonstration is a kitchen physics example of pattern formation in nonequilibrium systems.
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PAPERS| November 01 2021
Zachary H. Levine; Separation of Peas and Carrots in Boiling Water. Phys. Teach. 1 November 2021; 59 (8): 643–645. https://doi.org/10.1119/10.0006916
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