November 20, 2008

The Coolest Water Balloon Video in the History of the World

NPR’s Talk of the Nation posted what is apparently the coolest water balloon video in the history of the world. (I know, that’s sort of a grandiose statement given that water balloons weren’t even invented until the 21st century.)

In it, mechanical engineers Mark Weislogel (of Portland State University) and Seth Lichter pop water balloons on NASA's low-gravity training aircraft nicknamed the “Vomit Comet.” Four years ago, NASA announced that crews kept track of the amount of astronaut vomit cleaned up in the jet over the years. The total was over 285 gallons. Sounds like Mr. Lichter may have added to that. (Sorry, can’t embed the video; click on the picture below to follow the link.)
Yes, this teaches us very important aspects of physics; as one observer noted, “In addition to the surface tension observations, it appeared they were doing some quick & dirty trials on fluid collision behavior—” Ooh, another one popped!

No comments: