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3A50.76 - Water Piston

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3A50.76 - Water Piston

Title3A50.76 - Water Piston

To demonstrate damped harmonic oscillations.​

Assembly Instructions

​Dyed water will be poured into the bottom reservoir. Dyed water will also be placed into the glass tube that is held upside down exposing its mouth in a upward position. With careful execution, the holder of the now water filled tube must quickly and carefully tilt the glass tube around placing the mouth of the tube into the open reservoir of water. Secure the tube with a top and bottom 3-finger clamp attached to a tall stand. Secure the stand with a bench clamp if necessary to prevent the tube from falling over on accident or collision. A string may be attached to the tube and clamps in order to avoid breaking the tube upon dropping from too high of a height.

Setup Time10
Operation Time1
Preview Time20
Operation Instructions

​Lift the glass tube while being careful not to allow air into the tube breaking the partial vaccuum. Drop the tube from a safe height as in order to not break the tube. Watch while the water oscillates  and comes to rest in an underdamped system.

Demo on DimeNo
PIRA 200No
Export Instructions (if different)

​The body of water in the reservoir and glass tube acts as the mass in a spring-damped oscillation system. The partial vaccuum in the glass tube acts as the dampener, while the normal atmospheric pressure on the exposed body of water acts as the spring. The system is considered "underdamped".

Category3 Oscillations
Subcategory3A - Oscillations
KeywordsHarmonics, Oscillations, damped harmonics, underdamped, flow, water
Construction Information
Large glass tube must be replaced if broken.
bench clamp
dye - red
camera - color
Water Piston Assembly
Beaker - 2000mL Plastic