Saturday, 8 February 2014

Wave in a Bottle

Motion in the sea is called waves.  Wind not only produces currents, it creates waves; as wind blows across the smooth water surface, the friction or drag between the air and the water tends to stretch the surface, resulting in wrinkles.  Surface tension acts on these wrinkles to restore the smooth surface.  As waves form, the surface becomes rougher and it is easier for the wind to grip the roughened water surface and intensify the waves.


1 clear plastic or glass bottle with lid
clear tape
blue alcohol (if none, use blue food color)
cooking oil
colorful beads to represent sea creatures (optional)


1.  Fill the bottle with 3/4 blue alcohol
2.  Add the cooking oil up until an inch before the brim of the bottle
3.  Drop some beads
4.  Place the lid back.  Make sure it is tight
5.  Seal it with some clear tape
6.  Slowly tilt it side to side to form waves


Make a drawing of the waves in the bottle.  Indicate where the CREST and TROUGH are with an arrow.