USA Science and Engineering Festival: The Blog

Max Kurzweil Describes the Science Behind the Potato Chips

By Max Kurzweil

i-f2529ff645072cfe56541157608d124d-allen kurzweil.jpgWhen we’re at a baseball game or on a picnic we call ‘em chips. But when we’re cooking up experiments at the Chip Science Institute we maintain in our basement, or at the USA Science and Engineering Festival in Washington D.C., we call the world’s most beloved munchie “research material.”

For the last five years my dad and I have been using potato chips as a portal into the world of biology, chemistry, earth science, and physics. Who knew thin-sliced, deep-fried tubers could teach us about buoyancy, electrostatics, surface tension, acoustics, forensics, Bernoulli’s principle, and more. When we tell you that investigating the material properties of the potato chip can be a BLAST, we mean it. (We’ll be giving away a few dozen potato propulsion pipes to prove the point!) So for folks who like snacking on science high in saturated facts, you can’t go wrong analyzing the material properties of chips, bags, lids, spuds, and tubes. Hope to see in D.C. -Max Kurzweil, co-inventor of Potato Chip Science (the bright blue bag of experimental swag).

You can meet Max Kurzweil and Featured Author Allen Kurzweil at the Festival Sunday, April 29th at 12:45 PM on the Family/Hands On Science Stage.