Thursday, July 14, 2011

Slam and Snap!

Why does the ruler snap?

It’s all to do with air pressure. Although it doesn’t look like the air is made up of anything – it is! Invisible to the human eye air is made up of a whole lot of particles. These particles are pushing down on the newspaper sheet. As the ruler attempts to flip up – this movement is too rapid – more air particles don’t have time to slip underneath the newspaper. As a result the pressure is too great on top of the paper – it can’t move and the ruler has no choice but to snap.

Subscribe to Science in a Van by Email