Science Questions

Would a siphon work in free fall?

Sun, 8th Jan 2012

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Question

Les, Over asked:

Would a siphon in free fall be the same as the siphon is zero gravity? Is it a good measure?

Answer

Dominic -  Yes, it is.  When you're in free fall, you're essentially in zero gravity because all parts of your spacecraft are falling at the same speed towards the Earth and normally, you feel gravity because "I'm feeling an attraction towards the Earth and I'm being stopped from falling towards the Earth by the chair underneath me and so the chair has to push me up to stop me from falling towards the Earth".

Dave -  The only thing which might be slightly different and they have to be careful design of their experiment, is that they've only got free fall for 2 seconds.  If they'd already started the siphon before they dropped into free fall, the water has got lots of momentum and that momentum will actually keep it flowing for quite a long time.  So they'll have to open the valve or something after its dropped.  Otherwise, they're not doing a fair test.

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