Searching Science by Martin Gardner

By Martin Gardner

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By Martin Gardner

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She pushed down the centre of the cloth to form a kind of well, inverted the glass on her right palm, then seized it with her left hand as shown. Air pressure ballooned the cloth upward inside the glass. 57 When she put her finger on the glass, streams of bubbles began rising through the water. W h a t happened was this. When she exerted pressure with her finger, the glass slid downward through her left hand, causing the handkerchief to slide u p w a r d on the outside of the glass. This lowered the centre of the cloth inside, forming a v a c u u m .

T h e s h i p h o n can a l s o be m a d e with a certain t y p e of d r i n k i n g s t r a w c u r r e n t l y on the m a r k e t . These straws are so prepared that they can be bent without impeding the flow of liquid through them. Three such straws, cut to the proper lengths, can be joined with a sellotape to m a k e the siphon. MYSTERIOUS MATCH HEADS P a s c a l ' s l a w tells us t h a t p r e s s u r e a p p l i e d to a confined liquid is transmitted undiminished to all parts of the liquid.

SELF-STARTING SIPHON Many strange types of self-starting siphons have been invented, but this one is so elementary that you can construct it yourself from a single piece of glass tubing. With the aid of a' Bunsen burner, bend the tube into the shape indicated in the drawing . Allow it to cool. When the bent part is submerged in water as shown, the siphon will immediately start flowing. This is what happens. As soon as* point A on the tube goes beneath the surface, the water (seeking its own level) rushes through the tube to fill it to point 63 B.

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