Elasticity of the air

Text extracted from "The magician's own book, or The whole art of conjuring" (1862) by George Arnold
This can be shown by a beautiful philosophical toy which may easily be constructed. Procure a glass jar, such as is here represented. Then mould three or four little figures in wax, and make them hollow within, and having each a minute opening at the heel, by which water may pass in and out. Place them in the jar, as seen in the figure, and adjust them by the quantity of water admitted to them, so that in specific gravity they differ a little from each other. The mouth of the jar should now be covered with a piece of skin or India-rubber, and then, if the hand be pressed upon the top or mouth of the jar, the figures will be seen to rise or descend as the pressure is gentle or heavy, rising and falling, or standing still, according to the pressure made.
Reason for this
The reason of this is, that the pressure on the top of the jar condenses the air between the cover and the water surface; this condensation then presses on the water below, and influences it through its whole extent, compressing also the air in the figures, forcing as much more water into them as to render them heavier than water, and therefore heavy enough to sink.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Markup Key:
- <b>bold</b> = bold
- <i>italic</i> = italic
- <a href="http://www.fieldofscience.com/">FoS</a> = FoS