Introduction: How to Make a Vortex in a Bottle
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The Mad Science Fair
We have had one of these around the house for years. Our grandchildren, of all ages, love to watch the water swirl from the top bottle to the bottom bottle. Our 2 ½ year old grandson would bring it to one of us, to have us swirl it, over and over again. The first time I saw this principle used in life was when a Marine swirled a bottle of wine into a punch bowl, at a military wedding. It was way cool then, just as cool now. Here is How to Make a Vortex in a Bottle.
2 straight walled, 2 liter bottles with caps
5 minute epoxy (about $4.00 at craft stores)
Small paper cup
½ drill bit
Sand paper, medium grit
Food coloring (your choice of color)
Here is the safety precaution: Be careful when using the drill, the epoxy and the lit candle. If you are a Kid under age 18, have an adult help you with this project. If you are an adult, use common sense when making this project.
Clean the labels off the 2 liter bottles. Leave the white plastic ring on the bottle. It will help hold the caps in place when you are ready to make a vortex.
Use the sand paper to smooth down the tops of the two caps. These caps are not level so try to make them as level as possible. They do not need to be perfect. The sanding isn’t so much as to make the tops smooth, but to rough up the tops so that the epoxy will stick to them.
There are two ways to make the hole between the caps.
1. Using the drill, drill a hole in each cap. Match the holes up and then mix the epoxy in the small paper cup, with the toothpick.
Use the toothpick to spread the glue, gluing the two caps flat sides together, with the holes aligned , cover all around exposed areas with epoxy. Put it on the inside of the hole and around the outside of the caps. It doesn’t have to be perfectly smooth or even. When hardened, stretch the electrical tape around and around the cap to hold it tight and keep it sealed.
2. Mix the epoxy in the small paper cup, with the toothpick. Use the toothpick to spread the glue, gluing the two caps flat sides together, and cover all the exposed areas, including the outside of the caps. Let harden. When hardened, stretch the electrical tape around and around the cap to hold it tight and keep it sealed. Light the candle and use the pliers to hold the large nail. Stick the pointed end of the nail in the flame until red hot, and use the hot end to melt a hole through the two caps. Reheat the nail as often as needed to make a nice sized hole between through the two caps. It doesn’t have to be perfectly smooth or even.
Let the cap sit for 12 hours to cure.
Fill one of the bottles over ½ full of water. Put food coloring into the water. The vortex will be easier to see when the water is colored.
Screw the cap on to the bottle with water in it.
Turn the empty bottle upside down and screw it into the top of the cap.
Now you are ready to create a vortex-in-a-bottle. Turn the bottles upside down with the water filled bottle on top, give it a good swirl, and make sure it is stable on the bottom bottle. Enjoy your vortex.
Some suggestions have been made to add glitter to the water, or use oil and water instead of plain colored water. Experiment on your own, and have FUN!
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