Science Experiments

Cycle Centrifuge

Sun, 6th Dec 2009

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What you Need

A bicycle

A bicycle

Small Bottles

A small clear plastic bottle that will fit between your spokes

Salad Dressing

Salad dressing

Tape

Tape

What to do

First make a small amount of conventional salad dressing - 2/3 oil 1/3 vinegar + a small amount of mustard to act as an emulsifier and stabilise the emulsion.

Centrifuge CloseupMake a card tube to fit around your small plastic bottle. It needs to be a slightly loose fit.

Attach the tube to the rear wheel of your bike using lots of tape. Position it between two spokes, sitting against the rim of the wheel. Make sure the tube is very secure.

Turn your bike upside down, and make sure it is stable.

Shake up your salad dressing really well, and split it into two halves. Put half in your small bottle, and half in another one to act as a control.

The bottle will move very fast, so if your tube fails, it could fly off very rapidly. Make sure that no-one is standing in front of or behind the bike. The person winding the pedal should wear goggles.

Put the bottle of salad dressing into the tube and spin the wheel for 10-15 seconds, as fast as you can. Try to stop the wheel with the bottle at the bottom.

Compare the two bottles. Is there any difference between them?

What may happen

You should find that the contents of bottle that was spun around have separated far more than the one that wasn't spun around.


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