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Physics Fun with Scalding Hot Water

Anonymous Coward writes | more than 7 years ago

Education

Dan Olive writes "The students in the Advanced Physics Lab at Illinois Institute of Technology built a geyser as one of their experiments this semester. Powering the 6 foot tall creation is nothing more than an electric roasting oven; a copper fire pit provides the basin, and a copper pipe joins the two (along with a generous helping of epoxy.) Throw in some sensors to measure temperature and pressure and you have the makings of a science experiment that not only affords a study in heat, pressure, and hydrodynamics, but chaos as well. The unpredictable (read: highly sensitive to initial conditions) nature of the eruptions, which vary from several feet high to not much more than a trickle, led to the affectionate nickname "Old Yeller," a takeoff of its geologic cousin Old Faithful at Yellowstone National Park.

A video of the geyser in action, entitled "Physics Fun with Scalding Hot Water" has been posted on YouTube.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fr_uko0TiD4"

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