Science Course with Ryan Morse: defying gravity with water and air pressure

Beyond The Forecast

(WFRV) – Air pressure plays a fundamental part in predicting any type of weather. Areas of lower pressure tend to bring cloudiness and precipitation. Check out the effect air pressure can have on water.

Do it yourself experiment

Materials: drinking glass, water, a thick sheet of paper, and something to catch the water

  1. Fill the glass to the top with water, I added green food coloring for St Patrick’s Day. If it is not filled completely to the top the experiment will not work
  2. Place your thick piece of paper over the top of the glass
  3. Hold on to the piece of paper against the glass and flip it over
  4. Take your hand away from the glass
What is going on?

Water appears to be defying gravity! A few seconds after turning over the cup, pressure inside the cup becomes less than the pressure outside the cup.

The water creates an airtight seal which allows the air trying to move into the cup to hold up the thick piece of paper. Eventually, the piece of paper will become saturated and will fall ending the experiment.

For more Science Course with Ryan Morse, click below

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