Guess what is in Motion?

20 09 2010

The Notion of Motion exhibit will open Saturday, Sept. 25 at the Museum and it is causing quite the commotion!  Come see pendulums sway in strange patterns, magnets float in space, clouds form and much more! I am looking forward to seeing the Turbulent Orb, a Large transparent sphere full of a special liquid that visitors can spin.    

Let’s go ahead and get the ball rolling and learn about fluid motion at home. We are borrowing the Notion of Motion exhibit from the Exploratorium in San Fransisco and they also gave us the idea for this experiment.    

Fill 1/4 of a bottle with liquid soap. The soap needs to have  glycol stearate in it. Add a few drops of food coloring. Turn the faucet down to a trickle and slowly fill the bottle to the top with water.    

Once it is full put the cap on and turn the bottle upside down a few times. If you see foam trickle more water into the bottle, allowing the foam to flow out over the top. Once it is foam free screw on the top and seal it with tape.    

Now you can spin, shake and twirl your bottle at different speeds, observing the patterns. Water always moves in these patterns, the soap just helps up see it.    

Scientists call this pattern a laminar flow. It occurs when layers of water are moving slowly and smoothly


 What happens when you stop twirling the bottle? Is the water still moving? How are the patterns different when you shake the bottle slowly than when you shake it quickly?    

You can try adding glitter, so you can see the movement more clearly. 

Admission is half off this week, Spet. 21-24, because it is installation week.  You can read  this blog post, showing all the fun you can have during installation week.




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