Monday, September 25, 2006

It took me two and a half hours to get to work today

You're sitting in a car that's not moving with a helium-filled balloon, which is resting up against the car's ceiling somewhere near its middle. The driver hits the gas and the car accelerates forward, throwing you back into your seat.

What happens to the balloon?


  1. Easy, the balloon moves forward. The air inside the car moves back, same as your body. Because the higher pressure is behind the lighter-than-air balloon, the balloon moves in the opposite direction, or forward. At one point, the balloon is actually moving faster than the vehicle.

  2. That's right, Mr Don. It seems like it would go back in the car with everything else, however it will actually move forward. When the car accelerates forward, the heavier air will try to move to the back of the car and the lighter than air balloon will be pushed forward. Try it.


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