Scientists unraveled the mystery of smell after rain

19.01.2015

The cause of the pleasant smell after rain - petrichor, as it is called in a scientific way was explained by scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. They conducted a variety of experiments with raindrops falling on different surfaces, including 16 kinds of soil, and filmed the experiments on high-speed video camera. Researchers have also changed the intensity of «rain» and the speed of fall of drops on the surface.

Scientists examined the records and concluded that the aerosol particles entered the air bubbles in the drops at the moment when the water reaches the surface. At this moment, they rise to the surface like bubbles in soda pop, break up and disperse in the air. And, as experts have found, more aerosol substances are released in the rain with a low speed of drops falling. This explains the fact that after a light rain the air smells stronger than the one after a powerful shower.