Bending a Stream of Water

Did you know that a stream of water coming of a tap could be bent using a balloon? We decided to take a photo of this physical phenomenon by taking an uncharged balloon and rubbing it against our uncharged hair. Hair has a weaker hold on electrons, so electrons in the hair get transferred to the balloon, therefore, the balloon becomes negatively charged and hair positively charged. Next, we brought the negatively charged balloon close to a neutral stream of water. Water molecules are polar, meaning the oxygen atoms are slightly negatively charged and the hydrogen atoms are slightly positively charged. This attractive force overcame the repulsive force between negatively charged oxygen atoms and the electrons in the balloon. As a result, the stream of water bends towards the balloon.

Satyam Merja and Waleed Majoka
Emery Collegiate Institute, North York, Ontario
Honourable Mention ( High School Individual Category )
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