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Can solids apply a buoyant force?

Physics is filled with wonders. It often surprises us and makes us say Wow a many times. This search for Wow led to the start of a new initiative - Open Door's Wow series for Math and Science enthusiasts!

In this week's Wow Physics experiment, the Open Door team asked itself: We have learned that liquids apply a buoyant force. But, can solids apply a buoyant force too? In order to answer this question, we conducted an experiment in our lab.

We put four balls in a bucket of rice.

We submerged a few table-tennis balls in the container filled with rice. Then, we started shaking the bucket. Guess what has happened after some time?

(Pause and think before you scroll down)

On submerging the balls, was buoyant force acting on them? Yes, it was. But due to friction between the rice particles, the balls were not able to come up. We gave rice a little shake and all the four balls came up. This was because of the buoyant force being applied by rice. All we needed to do was to remove the friction just by giving a little shake.

This convinced us that even solids can apply a buoyant force (almost like liquids). Great! But, now we had another question in our mind: What happens if the rice grains are replaced by thermocol particles?

As the next step, we place the table-tennis balls in a bucket with thermocol balls.

We put four balls in a bucket of thermocol particles.

Can you guess what would have happened next? (Pause and think)

The balls did not appear on the surface. In fact, they sank down towards the bottom of the bucket.

Are you wondering why? To find out watch the first video from 'Open Door's Wow series' that explores the question: Can solids apply a buoyant force?

What is Open Door WOW Series?

Math and Science are filled with wonders. At Open Door, we asked ourselves: How do we bring out the Wow! factor in these concepts? This search for Wow led to the start of a new initiative - Open Door's Wow series! This is a series of content videos for Math and Science enthusiasts.

OD WOW Series aims at bringing the wonders behind concepts into limelight and to use the power of appreciation to enrich the learning. It is a series of videos on Math and Science concepts with simple setup hands-on experiments designed and conducted by OPEN DOOR Team. You can access all the videos, every fortnight on Open Door YouTube Channel.

We proudly announce the LAUNCH!



Simran Rawat

Simran is a Marketing Associate at Open Door. She has been an illustrator of children's books and uses the power of design to improve children's education.

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