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While You're Waiting for the Food to Come
by Eric Muller, Illustrated by Eldon Doty


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The world's simplest Cartesian diver.Condiment Diver -How to do it.


- Squeeze condiment packet (soy sauce, ketchup, etc.)

- Clear plastic bottle with tight-fitting lid

- A glass, bottle or cup of water

The Recipe:

1) First, you have to figure out if your condiment packet is a good Cartesian diver candidate. Fill a glass with water and drop in your packet. The best packets are ones that just Finding the right packetbarely float.

2) After you have found the proper packet, fill an empty, clear plastic bottle to the top with water. Shove your unopened condiment packet into the bottle.

3) Replace the cap... and you're done! Squeeze the bottle to make the diver sink, and release to make it rise. Amazing!.

Food for Thought:

Many sauces are denser than water, but it is the air bubble at the top of the sauce that determines whether the packet will sink or swim. Squeezing the bottle causes the bubble to shrink. This smaller bubble is less buoyant and the packet sinks.

Orginally published in The Physics Teacher, May 1996
By Eric Muller

Photos by Amy Snyder

Original copyright of While You're Waiting for the Food to Come 1995 Eric Muller

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