Science Experiments

Vortex Cannon

Sun, 21st Dec 2008

Listen Now    Download as mp3 from the show Merry Naked Christmas!

What you Need

A candle

A candle

A lemonade bottle

A 2 litre lemonade bottle


A little tape, it doesn't matter what type

What to do

You are going to use the lemonade bottle as a kind of cannon to blow out the candles, but to do this you will have to hit them.  So to start with you want to make some sights to help you aim.

Aiming the cannonIf you look at the sides of your bottle, you should find a line running along the bottle where two parts of the mold used to make the bottle joined together.  You could use this to aim along, but you will find it hard to see, so I attached a couple of pieces of tape to this line which were stuck to themselves to make an inverted T shape. These make quite acceptable sights.

Start off maybe 1m from your lighted candle, hold the bottle in the middle with one hand, aim carefully and slap the other side with your other hand.

What may happen

With a few tries you should be able to blow out the candle from even 2-3m away. Which is far further than you could blow the candle out from.

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