Edge Effects

The video linked here demonstrates the phenomenon of edge or wall effects on the velocity of a falling sphere.  The container on the left is a volumetric flask with a sphere of diameter such that there is about two millimeters difference between the flask neck diameter and the diameter of the sphere.  The graduated cylinder on the right has a difference of about one centimeter between the cylinder diameter and the diameter of the sphere (the spheres used in both the graduated cylinder and the volumetric flask are identical).  The containers are both filled with room-temperature glycerol, but the sphere in the volumetric flask fall much more slowly than that in the graduated cylinder.  This difference is due to the edge effect.



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Thanks to D. J. Ulness and J. D. Koski for help in the construction of this page.