Airborne Eggs (Easy)
What do a flying airplane and a pitcher’s curve ball have in common? Well, besides the fact that both travel through the air at amazingly fast speeds, both are based on a principle called Bernoulli’s principle. Bernoulli (pronounced Burr New Lee), was a Swiss mathematician who liked to piddle around with these types of things. Now you get to piddle around too…
How does moving air affect hanging eggs?
- 2 eggs
- 2 pieces of yarn or string, each about 20 cm (8 inches) long
- Masking tape
- Straight table edge
- Adult helper
1. With an adult helper, use tape to attach the yarn or string onto the wide end of the eggs (one piece of yarn per egg).
2. Place newspaper under the experiment area.
3. Take the other end of the string or yarn and tape it to a table edge so that
the eggs are suspended 2 – 3 cm apart, at the same height.
4. Challenge your friends to blow the eggs apart. Tell them to blow right between
What Happened – and Why?
Bernoulli’s principle says that in areas where air moves rapidly, pressure is low. When you blow between the eggs, you lower the air pressure between them. Blowing between the eggs drops the pressure so the higher air pressure of the surrounding air pushes the eggs together.
This same principle explains how an airplane can fly (due to the shape of the wing) and how a pitcher can throw a curve ball ( the spin of the ball).
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