ERIC Number: EJ1124182
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Jan
Abstractor: As Provided
Spark Ignition of Combustible Vapor in a Plastic Bottle as a Demonstration of Rocket Propulsion
Mattox, J. R.
Physics Teacher, v55 n1 p30-33 Jan 2017
I report an innovation that provides a compelling demonstration of rocket propulsion, appropriate for students of physics and other physical sciences. An electrical spark is initiated from a distance to cause the deflagration of a combustible vapor mixed with air in a lightweight plastic bottle that is consequently propelled as a rocket by the release of combustion products, i.e., a "whoosh rocket." My recommendation is that the standard fuel for pedagogical whoosh demonstrations be isopropanol, and the recommended vessel is the 3.8-L high-density polyethylene (HDPE) bottle.
Descriptors: Physics, Demonstrations (Educational), Scientific Concepts, Space Exploration, Transportation, Motion, Physical Sciences, Teaching Methods, Science Activities, Science Equipment
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://scitation.aip.org/tpt
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A