We built a wind tube, or vertical wind tunnel, to test how certain objects can float. We tested a bunch of fun materials, and found that terminal velocity determines how it will float.
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Step 1: Materials
Large (36x48) sheet
of see-through plastic (cut into 6 equal-sized pieces)
One fan of a size proportional to the amount of plastic
Step 2: Explanation of Physics!
This contraption works on the concept of terminal velocity. If something falls at a terminal velocity of 5 meters per second, and the fan blows air up and 5 meters per second, the object will hover in place in the wind tunnel.
Step 3: Test Results!
We put a variety of different objects inside the tube, and we found that some floated while others didn't. The object that provided the best result was a partially inflated small beach ball (the blue one in the photos).
Step 4: Assembly!
First we created a proof of concept, cutting the bottoms off of two small cups and taping them together. We then placed them on top of a fan, and attached a small parachute to a clip. We found that the object floated, so we began the production of the full scale model.
1. We bought a 36 x 48 in. sheet of acrylic
2. We had the sheet cut into even pieces
3.We taped the pieces together to create the tube
4. Put the tube onto the fan Tested a variety of different objects