Science Questions

When fish are transported in cars do they experience G-force?

Sun, 10th Apr 2011

Listen Now    Download as mp3 from the show Are Dogs Ticklish?

Question

Paul Manklow asked:

Hi Chris,

 

I listen to you via Podcast and find them very interesting and have a couple of questions I have been pondering:-

 

If you are transporting fish in a containing by car do they experience any G force while cornering ?

 

Kind Regards

 

Paul Manklow

Answer

Dave -   It’s a great question.  G-forces are essentially centrifugal forces.  When you go around a corner in a car, centrifugal force is there because your natural tendency, because you have mass, is to go in a straight line.  To make you go in around a corner, you've got to apply a force and you feel that force a bit like gravity is pointing a different direction.  Fish will certainly feel the same centrifugal forces...

Chris -   Just for clarity here, he does mean a fish in a bowl of water, I think, in the car...

Dave -   Okay, a fish lying dead in the car will feel exactly what you feel!  In a bowl of water, the fish will feel the same centrifugal forces but they are surrounded by water and that fish has got a swim bladder which will automatically adjust so it’s neutrally buoyant.  So, as it goes around the corner, the water also feels centrifugal forces, so the up thrust will increase exactly the same amount as the fish’s weight will increase so the fish shouldn’t notice anything at all apart from the slight change in pressure.

Chris -   So the fish shouldn’t be flung out towards the side of its bowl then if you were going around the corner?

Dave -   The water might be, but if the bowl was completely full of water then the fish wouldn’t be, no.

Chris -   Still bob around in the middle.

Dave -   Yeah.  If you have a helium balloon, it will actually move in the opposite direction because it’s less dense than air, so the air gets thrown out and the helium gets pushed in the other direction.

Multimedia

Subscribe Free

Related Content

Not working please enable javascript
EPSRC
Powered by UKfast
STFC
Genetics Society
ipDTL