Years ago, I came across the volume ratio of popped to unpopped popcorn. Recently, I acquired some data in rough support of the published data.
For Science Friday, Suze-style, I ask you to consider whether you are a theorist or an empiricist in addressing this question:
What is the fold increase in volume when you go from this:
to this? (NB: Scale is not consistent.)
The protocol I used for taking my data was to pop two tablespoons (one fluid ounce) of popcorn using a Calphalon pan, corn oil, and gas flame. After popping, I measured to volume by dumping it into a measuring cup, and took what I though to be a fair reading. (I concede that popcorn does not exactly form a meniscus.) The value I measured was within four percent of the published value.
Theorists: please post your considered estimate.
Empiricists: please try your hand at the experiment, using any reasonable protocol, and post your data.
Data collation will be presented Tuesday at an ad hoc meeting of International Society for Edible Experiments.