GRAND RAPIDS — Does an orange float or sink in water?? It’s a question that you can never be wrong answering. It actually can do both! Today's weather experiment we will learn about buoyancy and never answer this float or sink question wrong again!
What you need:
- Two oranges
- Two glasses
Step 1: Fill both glasses ¾ full of water
Step 2: Place one orange in one glass
Step 3: Peel the other orange and place in second glass
Step 4: Watch what happens and compare the two oranges
Which orange sinks? Which one floats? The orange with a peel is heavier than the orange without a peel but why and how does the heavier orange with a peel float???
The orange with a peel floats because the peel is porous and filled with tiny air pockets. Those air pockets make the orange less dense than water and causes it to float.
The other orange without a peel sinks when you place it in the glass of water. When you remove the peel you are making the orange lighter but you’re removing those tiny air pockets. This then makes the orange without a peel more dense than water so it sinks.
This is how buoyancy works which is an objects ability and tendency to float in water or other fluids.
When the orange is placed in the water gravitational force pulls it down while buoyant force pushes it upward. The secret is all in the peel! When the orange heavier and less dense by keeping the peel on it helps the orange displace enough water to float. One the other hand though when you take the peel off and make the orange lighter and more dense it can’t displace enough water to overcome the gravitational force so it sinks.
There you have it, we just learned about buoyancy with oranges!! Send our meteorologist Candace Monacelli your pictures doing this experiments at home! She will feature future meteorologists on my Facebook page daily!