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Aphrodite is the Greek goddess of lust, of love, the physical attraction and sex. The myth of its origin is directly related to the etymology of its name. Thus, the Greek term aphrós means foam.

According to the myth the oldest that has come down to us –collected by Hesiod – when Cronos emasculó to Uranus, his father, threw the testicles into the sea near the coast of cyprus in Paphos. Of the mixture of the semen and the blood of Uranus with the foam ocean, was born the goddess of love.

The foam is formed by many bubbles of air that form in the higher segment of the surf. When it breaks a wave in the air -that are less dense than water – rises to the surface, where they form a thin film of water-filled air.

This layer reflects the light without just absorb it, making a mirror effect that we perceive a white color, which contrasts with the dark color that adopts the sea when you look at it from above, as it absorbs almost all wavelengths, without hardly reflect any.

The secret is in the soap

When we take a bubble bath in our bath tub, the foam is formed from three basic ingredients: water, gel, or soap and air. Organize small areas of water with minimal amount of soap and filled with air, which are transparent.

If the light is incident on the spheres will produce a multitude of reflections on the surface of the bubble, scattering the light that we perceive a white color.

If we want the foam to the bathroom to have a certain hue of color, that we have to do is to add a gel of an intense color to the water and considerably increase their number.

the higher the ratio of soap-water, the greater the likelihood that the foam has a certain hue and lose its whiteness.

of beer

One of the most recognizable of the foam of the beer -also known as head, crown, or giste – is its white color, in regardless of whether the beer is blonde, toast, red or even black.

however, the color of a single drop of beer is colorless and the color that adopts a pitcher of beer ranges from yellow to amber and dark brown.

The foam occurs as a result of fermentation, a chemical reaction which liberates alcohol, and break down sugars and starches from the wort of beer, generating carbon dioxide and the gasification of the beer.

If we could look at the bubble of the beer through a microscope we would find that it is formed by a universe of bubbles spherical -of less than 0.2 mm in diameter – that are suspended.

As the bubbles weigh less than the liquid that surrounds them rise to the surface at great speed, causing a volcanic explosion of foam. The faster you ascend the bubbles of carbon dioxide have.

Each of these bubbles acts as a small sphere that reflects the light that falls directly upon it, the reflection of the scattered light in the bubbles around makes that form a grid that power the reflection and which we perceive as a off-white head.

Let’s leave the science for a moment and rememoremos that unbelievable pleasure of taking a good beer in a glass, to a temperature of between five and ten degrees, and with two fingers of foam.

Pedro Gargantilla is a internist in the Hospital of El Escorial (Madrid), and author of several popular books