Big mess

July 24, 2006

I tried a new experiment at the weekend: dropping a bucket of wallpaper paste onto a hard floor from a great height.

Initial results were quite interesting. Great gobs of the stuff were present on most surfaces in the path of the explosion, including in the vents of my electric drill. Be interesting to see how that works next time I get it out.

A few minutes with a damp cloth soon restored a semblance of cleanliness to the room however, and I was standing for a moment admiring my work when I noticed that a good deal of the sticky stuff had ended up on the ceiling, and really quite a lot at that.

Now, I dropped the bucket from a height of about five to six feet, but the ceiling is about eight feet high. I only dropped the bucket, I didn’t throw it, so it was subject only to gravitational pull, no extra acceleration from me, and yet some of the slop accumulated enough kinetic energy to make it to a greater height than that from it had attained it’s potential energy.

Even the bounciest of bouncy balls can’t manage that! Though I suppose if they exploded on impact and concentrated their energy on one tiny central piece they could do.

Next year’s must-have Christmas toy? I think not.

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