Some of the most interesting elements of science are when it tries to explain everyday phenomena. This article looks at the above question that was researched by scientists at Uppsala University.
When you have a layer of liquid between two surfaces, new adhesive forces are created due to hydrogen bonds and/or van der Waals forces and these have to be disrupted in order to lift the glass. By measuring the force required to separate two quartz glass plates that had different concentrations of water and alcohol between them, they determined that it is easier to lift the glass off the table when the layer consists of hard liquor (40% alcohol) than when it is water.
The paper’s authors have a whimsical conclusion about the implications of the finding: “Hence, intoxicated persons may be tempted to drink, e.g., whiskey rather than water as it requires only half the effort to pick up the glass. The impact of this finding on alcohol consumption patterns falls beyond the scope of this work, however.”
Who says that science is not useful?