Have you seen the party trick where a soft drink can balances on its
edge? The bottom edge of a standard aluminum 12-ounce beverage can
has a fairly wide bevel on which the can will balance when partially full.
We model the geometry of the can and compute the center of mass as a
function of filled volume to determine the range of volumes that result in
stability (the stability interval). Results compare favorably to experiments.
COMAP develops curriculum resources, professional development programs, and contest opportunities that are multidisciplinary, academically rigorous, and fun for educators and students. COMAP's educational philosophy is centered around mathematical modeling: using mathematical tools to explore real-world problems.