Paper Clip Floating On Water
1. A simple paper clip.
2. A plastic container to store water.
3. A pair of forceps to help you place the paper clip (optional).
4. Some tissue paper for drying the clip (optional).
My first attempt of placing the paper clip on the water surface failed. It sank.
Then I thought of another method of placing the paper clip on the water surface. Why not use your hands? You place the clip on your finger like this, and gently lower it down on the water surface.
Voila! It floats!
The excitement! I decided to extend my experiment a little further by "opening" up the clip. I wanted to see if the "enclosed area" of the clip affects it's ability to float. "Enclosed area" is defined as the surface area enclosed within the frame of the clip.
Yup, it works. How about opening it up a little more?
It still works. But is there a limit for the "enclosed area" before the clip sinks?
Your guess is as good as mine.
So from this experiment, I can say that the tendency of the clip to float is inversely proportional to the size of the clips "enclosed area".
Care to explain why the clip floats?
Aw, fine, here's the answer.
It floats because of surface tension where the water molecules have intermolecular bonds holding them together like a sheet of paper. That's why you see a depression around the object that floats on it. The depression is due to the weight of the object on the "skin". In fact, it's because of surface tension that stick insects are able to glide across water surfaces.
Am I wrong? Hopefully not :)