Make a tornado twister - Fizzics Education

### Welcome!

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You will need:

• Two plastic bottles with the same size with lids
• A hammer
• A thick nail to poke a hole in the lids with
• Thick, waterproof sticky tape
• Food colouring (optional)
• Glitter (optional)
• Water

1

Make a hole in the centre of two bottle lids using a thick nail.

2

Using some thick, canvas-backed plastic tape (needs to be waterproof), attach the lids together so that the tops of the lids are touching and the hole goes through both lids.

3

Fill one bottle 3/4 full with water. Add some food colouring and glitter.

4

Attach the lids to the bottles so that one bottle sits on top of the other. Invert so that the water runs from one bottle to the other. Observe what happens.

5

Invert the bottles again, and this time, give the bottles a rapid twirl in a horizontal direction. This should start off your vortex, or ‘tornado in a bottle’.

6

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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

### Why Does This Happen?

The vortex spins because of centripetal force – the one that famously makes an ice skater spinning on the spot twirl faster when his or her arms are pulled into their body. As the water spins, it moves faster at the base of the bottle, where the neck of the bottle is smaller. The faster-moving water pulls the water down into the bottle.

At the same time, air from the bottom bottle is let into the top bottle because of the shape of the vortex, which allows a funnel for the air to flow. Because the air and water can both flow freely while the water is spinning, the water pours into the bottom bottle faster than it did when there was no vortex.

### Variables to test

More on variables here

• Try using different liquids (eg canola oil, honey or glycerine).
• What happens when you change the size of the opening?
• Can you make a tornado happen inside a larger bottle?