Amuse the neighbors for hours as you make toilet paper and beach balls float in mid-air. Believe it or not, the secret to this mystery of levitation is right in front of your nose. In this science experiment we will learn about air pressure and Bernoulli's Principle
Materials - Leaf Blower - Toilet Paper Roll - Dowel or Paint Roller - Beach Ball - Ping Pong Ball - Hair Dryer
Flying Toilet Paper Procedure:
1.Put the toilet paper on the paint roller or dowel stick.
2. Unwrap about 12 inches of the paper and make sure its unrolling towards you.
3. Place the leaf blower at the base of the unwound toilet paper roll.
4. Turn on the leaf blower and watch that paper fly off in seconds.
Watch Video Flying Toilet Paper Experiment
Floating Beach Ball Procedure:
1) Blow up the beach ball all the way until it's good and hard.
2) Hold above the leaf blower.
3) Turn on the leaf blower.
4) Let go of the ball.
5) Watch the beach ball float as it hovers in the air. Try walking around with it as it's floating. Experiment using more than one beach ball at a time. How many can you get going in the air?
Note: You can do the same experiment on a smaller scale with a hair dryer and ping- pong ball. The hair dryer will levitate the ping pong ball in mid air
Watch Video: Floating Beach Ball Experiment
The Science Behind Flying Toilet Paper and Floating Beach Balls
The floating / levitating beach ball is an awesome demonstration of Bernoulli's Principle. This principle explains how heavier than air objects like airplanes fly. Bernoulli discovered that the faster air flows over the surface of something, the less the air pushes on that surface. This in turn creates lower pressure. The air from the leaf blower goes around the outside of the beach ball. If we position the beach ball just right, the air flows evenly around all sides. Gravity tries to pull the beach ball down while the pressure under the ball from the moving air forces it up. All the forces acting on the ball become balanced and the ball levitates in mid air. Airplanes fly due to this principle. Air rushes over the tops of it's wings. The fast moving air creates less pressure than the slow moving air under the wings. The greater air pressure beneath the wings generates upward force, or lift, that allows airplanes to fly. Now get out your leaf blower and do some flying toilet paper and floating beach balls!