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Q & A: Soup Atoms

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Most recent answer: 10/22/2007
Q:
What is happening to the atoms in soup as it is made?
- Kelly (age 15)
AHS, Mn, USA
A:
Kelly -

Unless you’re making some really unusual soup, not much will happen to the actual atoms that are in the soup. When you make soup, you just mix the ingredients together. So all the atoms and molecules that were in the ingredients get mixed up. But they probably don’t get mixed up completely. For example, if the soup has a piece of potato in it, the potato atoms will stay stuck together even after they’re in the soup. (But they may get some water molecules mixed in once they’ve had the chance to soak up some water.)

When you heat the soup up, the atoms will get more energy and will start moving around faster. Also, some of the nutrients in the soup may change a little - for example, some protein molecules will break down when heated.

-Tamara

(published on 10/22/2007)

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