Air can form an invisible shield

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Although air is invisible, air still has weight and therefore takes up space. Using a few items from around the house you can prove air takes up space.

Materials

* Newspaper

* Drinking glass

* Bowl of water

Instructions

STEP 1: Push a sheet of newspaper into the bottom of the drinking glass. Make sure the newspaper is pushed completely inside the drinking glass.

STEP 2: Turn the drinking glass upside-down and submerge the drinking glass into the bowl of water.

STEP 3: Remove the drinking glass from the bowl of water and peek inside the drinking glass. Is the newspaper wet?

Explanation

The water did not fill the glass because the glass is filled with air molecules. When you submerged the drinking glass into the water, you trapped air in the glass, which kept the newspaper dry.

Jason Lindsey is a Science Outreach Educator with Hooked on Science. Check out his website Hooked On Science at hooked onscience.org for webcasts and experiments that might get you hooked on science. Send him your science questions at jlindsey@hookedonscience.org. More science experiments can be found at www.semissourian.com.

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