Bernoulli Effects

posted by guy on 22 May 2015
last changed 3 Jun 2015

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ages: 10 yrs to 99 yrs

A series of six lessons connected to Bernoulli's principle, which can occupy anything from one to several hours of class time. Don't pass up the smoke ring demos at the end, which make for a terrific finale.

subjects: Physics

Bernoulli's Principle and the Venturi TubelessonGood background reading for the instructor to get ready for a series of lessons on Bernoulli's principle. Start the class by blowing over a piece of paper.
Bernoulli's BalloonlessonGreat entertainment for the class. Choose one innocent but good-natured victim to compete in a race to blow up the balloon. Afterwards, insist that the class explain how you won the race. Let everyone take a turn.
Bernoulli's Beach BalllessonGreat demo that can be done with a ping pong ball and a hair dryer in a small class, or a spectacular demo that can be done with a beach ball and a leaf blower in a large room or auditorium. Make students identify all the forces on the floating beach ball.
Desk Chair Angular MomentumlessonGood basic lesson on the conservation of angular momentum in preparation for a discussion of vortexes.
Vortex in a BottlelessonThis demo is essentially a bathtub drain in a bottle. Make a single device for demonstration purposes or have your students collect plastic soda bottles to make a project for the whole class.
Smoke Ring Machines and Dolphin BubbleslessonIn a small classroom, use a single coffee can smoke ring machine as a demo, or have students bring in empty coffee cans to make their own. In a large classroom or auditorium, the trash can smoke ring vortex cannon is unbeatable. Encourage students to combine what they know about Bernoulli's principle and fluid flow in vortexes to explain the formation and stability of the smoke rings.

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