Hydrodynamic Levitation!

Hydrodynamic Levitation!

On a stream of water you can levitate light balls of all sizes and even disks and cylinders. The mechanism is not the Bernoulli effect…
Want to make this at home:

My friend Blake from InnoVinci emailed me with a cool idea for a video and footage of levitating balls in water streams. Initially it was tough to explain the physics of what was going on. The standard Bernoulli effect relies on the object being completely immersed in the upward-flowing fluid. But in this case the water seems to form a single stream around the object and it’s deflected away and down from the stream. By Newton’s third law, the force on the water by the ball is equal and opposite to the force of the water back on the ball, pushing it up into the stream. There is a stable equilibrium position because if the ball moves into the stream, it “cuts off” the water going over the ball so it drifts out. If it drifts out too far, then lots of water passes over the ball, pushing it back into the stream.

Special thanks to Patreon Supporters:
Tony Fadell, Donal Botkin, Jeff Straathof, Zach Mueller, Ron Neal, Nathan Hansen

Support Veritasium on Patreon: http://ve42.co/patreon

Filmed by Raquel Nuno
Slow motion by Hollywood Special Ops http://hollywoodspecialops.com

Music from Epidemic Sound http://epidemicsound.com “Colored Spirals 3” “Magnified X 3” “In Orbit 2” “ExperiMental 1”

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20 Responses

  1. MCHappster says:

    That ball is more stable than this media platform.

  2. Tell Me This says:

    His inner child came out when the ball levitated ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Prometheus Hippopotimi says:

    i identify as hydrodynamic levitation

    if you dont respect my gender you’re a hydrophobe

  4. Jacob Leezer says:

    what up people scrolling through the comments

  5. Andika Raditya says:

    Magnus effect?

  6. Gurpreet Singh MAtharoo says:

    Finally a Vsauce video!

    …sorry wrong channel

  7. Infinite Singularity Of Wisdom says:

    I love your videos so much if you ever stop doing videos I’ll probably cry for a week

  8. a lonely spoon says:

    last time i was this early

    the “last time i was this early” thing was a joke

  9. Rktm8 says:

    Alternative titel: Two grown men playing with water and their balls

  10. Cheeki Breeki Comrade says:

    This is the content I subbed for not vids with the king of ad revenue

  11. lol says:

    Last time I came this early it levitated a ball

  12. Grant Thompson - "The King of Random" says:

    So early! Awesome demonstration

  13. Red Pinch says:

    What happened to sciencium?

  14. NobleSquad says:

    I wish my balls would levitate when i get them wet

  15. inademv says:

    Would the ball behave the same way if you coated it with a hydrophobic layer?

  16. SalaheighTkY Bromer says:

    At 2:14 rip headphones XD ๐Ÿ˜‚

  17. Gyรถrgy Mohl says:

    Chuck Norris can do it by peeing. With a bowling ball.

  18. Mikey C says:

    I’m not as smart as you nor do I have the physics background so take this with a grain of salt… but… just looking at it, I would think it has more to do with the rotational center of mass being changed by the water. That is, due to the fact that the water clings most in the quadrant of the ball immediately after where the stream hits, the ball is heavier in that quadrant. That brings the ball’s center of mass inward toward the water stream which make the ball rotate around a center that is slightly toward the stream of water. If you think about it, that will cause the ball to rotate around an axis that pushes it in toward the stream of water. This naturally balances in a feedback loop. If you look at the slo-mo, you can see the ball “wobbling” from the off-center center of mass.

  19. jfurli says:

    I couldn’t help but notice the explicit mention of Styrofoam balls, are they Styrofoam due to their low mass allowing the effect to work? Or does the Styrofoam allow all the electrostatic charge effects to play a role? Sweet toy though!

  20. Adelar Scheidt says:

    The Veritasium formula:
    1. Find counter-intuitive physics
    2. Draw some arrows representing forces
    3. Profit! Cool slow-mo shots and people feel like they’re learning science

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