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Q & A: canned attraction?

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Most recent answer: 10/22/2007
Q:
While cooking two cans of sweetend evaporated milk in a larger pan full of water I noticed the two cans would be drawn to one another as if magnitized. I would put them clear across the pot from one another and in seconds they would be drawn together and they are fairly heavy.
I am wonder what is the law, theory, or application for this energy? It is amazing! What is happening here?
Thank you
# this makes a great carmelized pudding/ very rich tasting also, cook four hours slow simmer making sure cans stay covered with water.
- Judith Todd McNichol
Brewster, MA
A:
That's a really interesting question. I guess the answer is connected with the water circulation patterns in the boiling water. But here's a basic question:
are both pans attracted to the same spot, or are they attracted to each other?
You can test that by seeing if a single can heads to the spot (in the middle?) or if it only moves there when the other can is also present. Once that question is answered, we can move on to a follow-up.

Mike W.

I agree, itís probably a convection pattern.  Try seeing if there is a difference between a rectangular pan and a circular pan, again with different intial placements.  The single-can experiment is crucial.  We're waiting for your results!

LeeH

(published on 10/22/2007)

Follow-up on this answer.