Fun at the water faucet

Matt (a little bit thinner)

Matt (a little bit thinner)

On the flight out to the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting in Denver, CO, I decided to take along a book I’ve been wanting to read.  It’s Deep Down Things by Bruce A. Schumm.  In Chapter 2, Schumm describes a simple experiment that can be done in the home with a comb and a water faucet.  It helps for it to be a cold dry winter day as well.  First I got the faucet stream to be very thin and continuous (no droplets).  Then I combed my hair quickly about a dozen times and held the comb near (but not touching the flow).  It’s amazing how much the flow redirects!  This was simply his example of easily viewing the electromagnetic force.  I’m reading the book to try and gain more understanding of some of the theories of particle physics and this particular book had reviews that spoke to me.  Now, I wouldn’t recommend this in an unbelievable arid Denver – I felt bad wasting the little bit of water, but this would have been cool back home.  I just couldn’t wait to try it though.  I guess there’s no fool like an old fool!  It’s a really good book by the way – we can only hope that Professor Schumm will eventually write another.


About matthewm53
I'm a Senior Engineering & Science Librarian at Carnegie Mellon University.

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