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ERIC Number: EJ913086
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Feb
Pages: 3
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 9
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
Siphons, Revisited
Richert, Alex; Binder, P. -M.
Physics Teacher, v49 n2 p78-80 Feb 2011
The siphon is a very useful example of early technology, the operation of which has long been well understood. A recent article makes the claim that established beliefs regarding this device are incorrect and proposes a "chain model" in which intermolecular forces within the fluid play a large role while atmospheric pressure does not. We have carefully tested, and disproved, this claim using four simple experiments employing inexpensive, easily available apparatus. We complement the experiments with a discussion of conceptual issues related to the device and by invoking earlier studies and observations. Our findings fully support an explanation based on Bernoulli's equation in which both gravity and pressure play important roles, but intermolecular forces do not.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A