Tornado in a jar : Fizzics Education

### Welcome!

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### You will need:

• A glass jar with a lid
• Detergent
• Water

1

Fill the glass jar almost completely with water, leaving a small air space at the top of the jar. Now add a small amount of detergent.

2

Ensuring that the lid is tight, grip the top of the jar and give the jar a quick shake up and down to get some bubbles to form.

Now, quickly swirl the jar around for a couple of seconds. The swirling motion is best done if the bottom of the jar swirls wider than the top of the jar.

3

Stop swirling the jar and you should see a bubble tornado!

4

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#### Get the Unit of Work on Pressure here!

• Want to dive into air pressure?
• It’s all about air pressure in many ways!

From how storms form to how planes fly, this unit covers many concepts about air pressure.

Includes cross-curricular teaching ideas, student quizzes, a sample marking rubric, scope & sequences & more

### What is going on?

This is all about momentum, centripetal force & friction!

When you swirl the jar you impart a force on to the liquid, whereby initially the water pushes outwards against the glass. When you stop swirling the jar, friction slows the water touching the edge of the glass. The water is pulled into a funnel-shaped vortex by centripetal force which pulls the water towards the centre of the jar. The water speeds up as it approaches the centre of the jar due to the angular momentum of the water, creating a vortex.

### Variable testing

• Try different liquids.. can you form a vortex in thicker liquids?
• Does it matter if there is no detergent?
• Try different shaped containers

### How do real tornados form?

A classic version of a vortex is a tornado. Find out more about how tornadoes form below;

## 3 thoughts on “Tornado in a jar”

1. Ashmita says:

Wonderful experiment!! KEEP ROCKING!!!!!!!!!

1. Ben Newsome says: