Biocurious is a weblog about biology, quantified.

The Ramen effect

by PhilipJ on 9 June 2006

This is by far the funniest search engine term that has led someone to BioCurious since I’ve been keeping track.

Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman won the Nobel prize in 1930 for his work on the inelastic scattering of light from optical phonons (quantized elastic waves). Scattered light has a lower energy than the incoming light, having imparted some of that energy to create or destroy phonons in the scattering medium. It is a routine characterisation tool for liquids and solids (the lab I worked in as an undergrad would to take Raman spectra of the curious alcohols brought back from various conference locations, to make sure things like benzene weren’t ingredients).

Ramen noodle soup is a delightfully cheap source of carbohydrates and saturated fats while containing basically no protein, vitamins or minerals. As you can imagine, it is a staple in the graduate student diet.

Raman, ramen. Nobel laureate, delicious noodle soup. But now there is a new tool: Ramen spectroscopy! So to you theorists: what is going on in the Ramen effect?



  1. Uncle Al    4207 days ago    #

    The preferred human diet is salt, sugar, starch, and grease. Necessary nutritional supplements are ketchup, capsaicin, chocolate, alcohol, garlic, wasabi, and caffeine.

    Lagavulin single malt scotch for the alcohol. Kopi Luwak for the caffeine. Valrhona chocolate; Amedei in a pinch.

    There is no apparent human need for protein as vegetarians and Third World troglodytes amply demonstrate. A rare-grilled inch-thick juicy marbled ribeye steak simply imparts the will to live.


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