Experiment: Floating Rice – A Simple Friction Experiment
In The Very Hungry Black Hole, Mindy does some experimenting with mayonnaise to help the time machine slip through the time-space continuum more easily. By doing this, she is attempting to reduce the friction. This simple experiment does the opposite- it increases friction! Which helps you float a rice filled bottle in the air. Check it out…
- sheet of paper
- plastic bottle
- uncooked long grain rice
- pencil, pen, chopstick or wooden skewer
- Roll paper into a cone shape making sure the small end is small enough to fit into the neck of your bottle. Place inside bottle.
- Carefully start to pour rice into the cone. Start by filling the bottle about ¼ full. Then tap the bottle lightly on the surface of the table to settle the rice.
- Repeat previous step three more times, until the bottle is full to the top with rice.
- Remove the cone and give bottle a final tap to be sure rice is fully settled.
- Very firmly push your pencil into the center of the bottle and press it all the way down to the bottom of the bottle.
- Gently lift the pencil and watch as the bottle and all the rice lifts with it. If this doesn’t work the first time, remove the pencil and tap the bottle a few more times to settle the rice and try it again.
- What happened is that the grains of rice are packed so tightly together that the friction between the rice and the pencil is strong enough o hold the pencil in place, allowing you to pick up the whole bottle of rice with the pencil. Wowsers!