A scientist has proved that when it comes to pouring the perfect pint, you really do need to be a mathematician.
Recently appointed professor of industrial mathematics at the University of Huddersfield, Professor William Lee has discovered how to pour the perfect pint.
His bubbles research has created widespread media interest over recent years and even earned light-hearted plaudits such as The Economist Babbage Award for Bizarre Boffinry.
But it has also proved to be highly productive academically, resulting in a sequence of scientific articles.
The latest is Sinking Bubbles in Stout Beers, published by the American Journal of Physics.
It was while Professor Lee was based at the University of Limerick that he was asked to investigate the counter-intuitive behaviour of bubbles in a pint of the black stuff – they sink rather than rise.
After simulations and experiments, which he completed following a move to the University of Portsmouth, it was decided that the shape of the glass, with its sloping walls, was the determining factor.
The latest article describes how a mathematical model – which provides greater focus than computer simulation – was used in order to provide conclusive proof.
“People think that the Guinness glass is designed to optimise the settling time,” said Professor Lee.
“But now we have a better understanding of the theory behind it, we might be able to make an even better glass so that it settles faster.
"Unfortunately, the ideal shape would look like a giant cocktail glass.”
Hmmmm, we're not sure how the punters would feel about that one!