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Reinventing the spoon [new patent]

“Spoons are used to lift fluids or semi-solids from a bowl, pot or plate. Most fluids are held within the outer lip of the spoon. Traditional spoons include a bowl portion and a handle that extends from the bowl portion. While traditional spoons are effective for preparing, eating, or serving foods, often times liquids drip off of a bottom surface of the bowl portion due to the rounded shape. This can cause stains around the bowl and on the clothing of the person that is eating.

[…]

What is needed is a spoon with a modified bowl portion to prevent or reduce dripping of liquid therefrom. The spoon disclosed in this document provides the solution “

This information is provided in a newly issued (Aug 11th 2020) US patent entitled : ‘Modified spoon to reduce the dripping of liquids’ – in which Californian inventors John Patrick Cockrell and Jessica Sweet Ipina disclose their improved spoon.

“This invention relates to improvements in a spoon. More particularly, the bowl of the spoon has a rounded center area that to reduces or eliminates the dripping of liquids from a bottom surface of the bowl.”

The patent document explains how the new spoon incorporates a central raised ‘divot’ (see dwg.) which, its claimed, can significantly reduce spoon-related dripping incidents.

BONUS Assignment [optional] : Explain, from a fluid dynamics standpoint, why a spoon with a central raised divot would drip less than one without one.

Research research by Martin Gardiner

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