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Physics Question of the Day

December 21, 2011

What range of fluid ounces in the can make this possible?

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. Andy "SuperFly" Rundquist permalink
    December 21, 2011 5:02 pm

    off the top of my head: until the liquid level on the left is hitting the cylinder’s side.

  2. December 21, 2011 5:22 pm

    There’s something very tangible about this answer… like “the can will topple over when something hits its sides”

  3. Gary Heaton permalink
    December 21, 2011 5:53 pm

    Is the fluid Mercury?

  4. Christopher permalink
    December 21, 2011 7:34 pm

    Which phenomenon am I supposed to attend to? The balancing or the reversal of the type?

    • December 21, 2011 7:59 pm

      the balancing… its interesting, because when it’s full of soda it doesn’t balance, and its when its empty it doesn’t balance. It’s only in a certain range that it will balance. I remember playing with this as a kid all the time.

  5. Christopher permalink
    December 21, 2011 7:37 pm

    Oh…and follow-up question…will the can fall over eventually as the CO2 escapes (thereby reducing the volume of the liquid?)

  6. December 29, 2011 4:08 am

    I tried this today with a Pepsi can. At about 32 mL of liquid, the can would no longer balance on its edge.

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