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Champagne physicist reveals the secrets of bubbly

Published on Sep 19, 2012 12:25 PM
French scientist Gerard Liger-Belair (above) works on a glass of Champagne in his laboratory, on Sept 13, 2012 in Reims, located in the Champagne region in eastern France. Mr Liger-Belair's work has been published in peer-reviewed journals aimed at fluid physicists and beverage specialists who deal with other sparkling wines, beers and sodas. -- PHOTO: AFP

REIMS, France (AFP) - Mr Gerard Liger-Belair lives in a bubble, and he doesn't care who knows it.

Bubbles are his passion. And they have given the 41-year-old French scientist arguably the best job in all of physics.

In a lab supplied with top-notch champagne, Mr Liger-Belair delves into the secrets of fizz: What gives this legendary wine its sparkle to the eye, its tingle to the tongue? A bottle of bubbly without the bubbles - all 10 million of them - would be a sad thing indeed, admits Mr Liger-Belair.

"It wouldn't be a very good wine," the scientist said in his lab at the University of Reims. "The heart of champagne lies in the bubble." Champagne is made under a two-stage, tightly-regulated process.

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