Anti-Gravity Water – Kids Experiment

Nothing is as exciting in the world of physics than making something defy the laws of gravity. In this experiment, we’re going to find a way to make water stay in a glass that’s been turned upside-down and lifted up. This is the ‘Anti-Gravity Water’ experiment, in which you’ll need the following things:

You will need:

  • Water
  • A Drinking Glass
  • A Bucket/Large Tray
  • A Sheet of Card

Method:

  • Firstly, grab your drinking glass and fill it halfway up with water. Place the sheet of card on top of your glass of water firmly but carefully to ensure there are no gaps.
  • Get your bucket/tray ready, because now we’re onto the hard part! Keep your glass of water steady with one hand and use the palm of your other hand to secure the card on top of the glass.
  • Once you’re ready, carefully tip the card and glass of water upside down and rest them on a hard surface. Don’t worry if a little bit of water spills out, as long as you’ve got enough to continue the experiment.
  • Now’s the cool part! Slowly lift the glass of water up by the base and hopefully you should see the card stick to it and the water remain in the glass. Again, be sure to have your bucket/tray nearby just in case of spillage. Now all that’s left to do is hover the glass of water over the bucket/tray, remove the card and watch the water gush into the bucket – and that’s the ‘Anti-Gravity Water’ experiment! Note: If you want to take it further, try poking a hole in the card instead of removing it. What happens?

The Science Bit:

Delving into the world of Physics this time around, let’s learn about the two key components coming into play in this experiment: air-pressure and gravity. Air-pressure is the weight of a column of air pushing down on an area. In this case, the air-pressure is being exerted from outside the glass and is pushing up on the card. On top of that, the force is greater than the pressure of the water inside the glass and because of this, the sheet of card is being held in place and is stopping any water from escaping. This creates what we like to call a “vacuum”.

Once the card is removed, of course gravity will cause the water to spill out. But if you were to poke a hole in the card instead of remove it, the same would also happen. This is because air is given the opportunity to enter the glass and will equalize the pressure. Leaving only gravity to take effect and push the water out of the glass as expected.