Donate to the Igs

The Reason You Will Spill Coffee, No Matter How Careful You Are

When a person walks while carrying a full cup (with no lid) of coffee, it is almost inevitable that some coffee will spill. Two Ig Nobel Prizes have honored research that analyzed why. Small Expedition Room produced this video news report [in Korean] about the phenomenon:

Those Two Coffee-Spill Ig Nobel Prizes

The 2012 Ig Nobel Prize for fluid dynamics was awarded to Rouslan Krechetnikov and Hans Mayer for studying the dynamics of liquid-sloshing, to learn what happens when a person walks while carrying a cup of coffee.

They describe that research, in the study “Walking With Coffee: Why Does It Spill?” Hans C. Mayer and Rouslan Krechetnikov, Physical Review E, vol. 85, 2012.

The 2017 Ig Nobel Prize for fluid dynamics was awarded to Jiwon (Jesse) Han, for studying the dynamics of liquid-sloshing, to learn what happens when a person walks backwards while carrying a cup of coffee.

He describes that research, in the study “A Study on the Coffee Spilling Phenomena in the Low Impulse Regime,” Jiwon Han, Achievements in the Life Sciences, vol. 10, no. 1, 2016, pp. 87-101.

Improbable Research