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05 January 2009 @ 09:18 pm
Physics? Biology?  
Why does cold tomato juice feel colder than cold soda? Is it because it's thicker and the "cold content" of a given volume of liquid is greater?
Adrian Turtleadrian_turtle on January 6th, 2009 03:57 am (UTC)
It might not be the "cold content" that makes it feel colder. When you touch 2 cold things at the same temperature, the one that chills your skin faster will *feel* colder. You aren't feeling the temperature of the thing you're touching; you're feeling your skin temperature when you touch it.

This seems terribly complicated, but most people know lots of physical examples. Are you familiar with wooden doors and metal doorknobs, outdoors in winter? The metal feels much colder to the skin, even though they are the same temperature after a winter night outside. (The metal feels hotter than the wood, after a summer day.)

Tomato pulp makes juice conduct heat a little better than water.
Carbonation makes soda conduct heat a little worse than water.
The difference is small. I would not expect the difference to be noticeable, when you take them out of the refrigerator and hold the glass in your hand. But a person could probably feel a difference in the sensation of cold liquid touching the inside of the mouth.