What does milk in tea have to do with a storm?

Helen Czerski, physicist and author of Storm In A Teacup, links the little things you see every day to the world we live in

What does a cup of tea and a storm cloud have in common? 

Adding milk to your cup of tea may seem like the most mundane thing in the world but have you ever stopped to notice the pattern the milk forms?

In this video, Helen shares with you why the milk in your tea and storm clouds move in the same pattern…

More about the author

Storm in a Teacup

Helen Czerski

Just as Freakonomics brought economics to life, so Storm in a Teacup brings physics into our daily lives and makes it fascinating.

Our world is full of patterns. If you pour milk into your tea and give it a stir, you’ll see a swirl, a spiral of two fluids, before the two liquids mix completely. The same pattern is found elsewhere too. Look down on the Earth from space, and you’ll find similar swirls in the clouds, made where warm air and cold air waltz.

In Storm in a Teacup, Helen Czerski links the little things we see every day with the big world we live in. Each chapter begins with something small – popcorn, coffee stains and refrigerator magnets – and uses it to explain some of the most important science and technology of our time.

This is physics as the toolbox of science - a toolbox we need in order to make sense of what is around us and arrive at decisions about the future, from medical advances to solving our future energy needs. It is also physics as the toy box of science: physics as fun, as never before.

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