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Cartesian

# Cartesian

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06/20/2012

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# Christine Magbanua CARTESIAN DIVER PRINCIPLE: Buoyancy Objective: 1. To be able to explore the concept of buoyancy 2.

Describe how a Cartesian Diver works.

Materials Needed: 1 or 2L Plastic bottle Plastic pen cap Water Stick tack

Procedure: 1. Place a small ring of sticky-tac around the opening of the plastic pen cap without blocking the hole 2. Float the cap in a cup of water to test its buoyancy. If it sinks take some clay away. If it floats too much add more clay. · Fill the 1 or 2 litre bottle with water right to the top. Gently drop the cap into the water with its open end downwards. 3. Put the lid on the bottle. Note that the bottle must be airtight when closed. The "diver" should be partially filled with a small amount of water, but has enough air in it to be neutrally buoyant. 4. Press the bottle inward and watch the "diver" sink to the bottom. When the pressure is released watch the “diver” float to the top.

Buoyancy is the upward force that keeps objects afloat. The upward buoyancy force is equal to the amount of the weight of fluid displaced by the body of the object. This force enables an object to float. Neutral buoyancy is achieved when the mass of an object equals the mass it displaces in a surrounding medium. This offsets the force of gravity that would otherwise cause the object to sink. An object that has neutral buoyancy will neither sink nor rise. Negative buoyancy is achieved by either increasing the object’s own weight or decreasing its displacement, so that it sinks. Positive buoyancy is when the total weight of an object is less than the total weight of water it displaces, so that the object rises to the surface. Buoyancy and Submarines Submarines can control their buoyancy by pumping air in and out of water-filled tanks (ballast tanks) on the outside of their hulls. Pumping air (which is lighter than water) into the ballast tanks increases the submarine’s buoyancy and allows it to float to the surface (by giving the submarine positive buoyancy). Releasing air and allowing water to fill the ballast tanks decreases the submarine’s buoyancy and allows it to sink (by giving it negative buoyancy). When travelling underwater, a submarine captain will aim to achieve neutral buoyancy, so that the submarine neither floats nor sinks. In this state, a submarine can be “flown” underwater like an aircraft is flown in air, by using short “wings” called hydroplanes that can be angled up or down. In fact, the controls of a modern submarine look very similar to those of an aircraft, with a ‘joystick” that controls movement up, down, left and right.

HOW WORKS: The “diver” is an open-ended object, which contains a small amount of air placed in an airtight container of water. The bubble of air in the diver makes it buoyant. When the container is squeezed, the water pressure squeezes the bubble of air inside the “diver”. As the bubble gets smaller its buoyancy is reduced until the “diver” becomes negatively buoyant and sinks. When the pressure on the container is released, the bubble expands, increases in buoyancy, the “diver” becomes positively buoyant and floats. _The air in the pen cap is compress and the volume decreases so it sinks and then goes up when release. _A Cartesian diver is made so that extra pressure created by squeezing the bottle will change the density of the diver to make it sink. A concept necessary for understanding this is compressibility. Compressibility is the degree to which something can be squeezed to make it smaller. Everything is made up of tiny pieces of matter called molecules. Think of your classroom filled with your classmates. The people are like molecules. Compressibility has to do with how far the molecules are apart from each other. In a gas, the molecules are far apart, and therefore the gas can be squeezed into a smaller space by adding pressure. _There is just enough air in the diver to make it positively buoyant. Therefore, the diver floats at the water's surface. As a result of Pascal's law (principle of transmission of fluid-pressure), squeezing the airtight container increases the pressure of the air, part of which pressure is exerted against the water that constitutes one "wall" of the airtight container. This water in turn exerts additional pressure on the air bubble inside the diver; because the air inside the diver is compressible but the water is a incompressible fluid, the air's volume is decreased but the water's volume does not expand, such that the pressure external to the diver a) forces the water already in the diver further inward and b) drives water from outside the diver into the diver. Once the air bubble becomes smaller and more water enters the diver, the diver displaces a weight of water that is less than its own weight, so it becomes negatively buoyant and sinks in accordance with Archimedes’ principle (Any floating object displaces its own weight of fluid.-- Any object, wholly or partially immersed in a fluid, is buoyed up by a force equal to the weight of the fluid displaced by the object.) . When the pressure on the container is released, the air expands again; increasing the weight of water displaced and the diver again becomes positively buoyant and floats. _Humans are full of fat and oxygen (the lungs) so mostly we displace more water than our weight, though if you breathe fully out you will sink. _Density defined in a qualitative manner as the measure of the relative "heaviness" of objects with a constant volume.

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