Simple Science: How your popcorn pops


This weekend, "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" gathered up $75 million in ticket sales in theaters

Many of those viewers were probably enjoying a bucket of popcorn while watching the magic unfold on the screen. So what's the magic that makes a kernel pop into a piece of popcorn?

Each popcorn kernel contains a tiny droplet of water surrounded by a cellulose shell. When the kernel get heated, the droplet turns into steam, according to The Discovery Channel. Since molecules of steam are more energetic and take up more space than molecules in the liquid state, the steam creates pressure inside the kernel.

Once it reaches a certain pressure, the hull bursts and the starch transforms into a fluffy piece of popcorn. The popcorn needs to be heated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit in order to create the needed pressure to open up the hull.


Madhuri Bhupathiraju

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