Consortium for Mathematics and its Applications

Product ID: Model Reality Check
Supplementary Print
Undergraduate

When Will a Soda Can Balance?

Author: Bruce Atwood and Sijia Liang


Introduction
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.

©2016 by COMAP, Inc.
The UMAP Journal 37.1
10 pages

Mathematics Topics:

  • Geometry

Application Areas:

  • Geometric Modeling

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