This week’s experiment is quick and simple but sure to amaze!
You will need:
An indoor tap
Clean dry hair
Turn the tap on so there is a very thin but constant stream of water flowing
Rub the balloon on your hair until you form static (about 10 seconds, until your hair begins to stand on end)
Slowly bring the balloon close to the flowing water while being careful not to actually touch the water
Watch the water bend towards the balloon!
When you rub the balloon on your hair, tiny electrons are collected on the balloon. These electrons have a negative charge. This causes the balloon itself to have an overall negative charge, therefore it is attracted to things with a positive charge (opposites attract!). The flow of water has a positive charge, therefore the attraction is strong enough to pull the water towards the balloon.
Today we will be experimenting to see what happens when you put a lighter or a flame underneath a balloon filled with two different states of matter: air and water.
You will need two balloons, some water and a lighter
Blow up one of the balloons with air and tie it up.
Fill the other balloon with a little bit of water, blow it up the rest of the way and tie it up.
Hold the lighter under the balloon with the air in it and see what happens. Be careful as it should pop!
Light the lighter under the balloon with some water in it, be careful to hold the lighter under the part of the balloon where the water is. The balloon won’t pop!
This happens because water can absorb heat a lot easier than air and is a better conductor of heat. Water keeps the heat away from the balloon. This is called its ‘heat capacity’ and is why water is often used to cool things down in places such as power plants. The air is not very good at absorbing the heat, so the balloon heats up and pops!
Your challenge this week is to pierce a skewer through a balloon without popping it.
Share your attempts with us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter – just use the hashtag #TryThisTuesday
How we did it:
Pierce the balloon at the bottom near the knot, then slowly pass the skewer through and piece it through the darkest part at the far end. These points are where the rubber is under the least stress so is less likely to tear and pop under impact.